Lighting upgrades to bring cost, energy savings to New Hingham Regional Elementary School 

  • New Hingham Regional Elementary School. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/9/2022 3:55:38 PM

CHESTERFIELD — New Hingham Regional Elementary School is close to fully upgrading its lighting to LEDs, a move that Principal Jesse McMillan said will yield immediate savings for the school.

The upgrade is being done as part of Eversource’s Municipal Partnership program. The $74,000 upgrade includes both lighting in and outside of the school, and $18,000 is coming from Eversource. The rest is being paid for by money the school received from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

This money was awarded to New Hingham because it was one of the school’s that suffered at least a 10% drop in enrollment in the pandemic. New Hingham received $62,236 as a result, and McMillan and the School Committee determined it would be best used for capital improvements.

McMillan said that the school’s enrollment has since bounced back, with enrollment 20% above its pre-pandemic levels.

Because the upgrades are being paid for outright, McMillan said that the school won’t have to wait to see savings.

“We’ll see immediate savings in our electrical bill,” he said.

He also said that the anticipated yearly savings are around 92,000 kilowatt hours a year in electricity, with a CO2 reduction of 200 short tons. A short ton is equal to 200 pounds.

McMillan said that his goal is to use these savings to help pay for costs going forward, such as the replacement for the school’s boiler in five to six years that he said is predicted to cost more than $500,000.

To this end, he said he’s looking to do line item transfers from the electrical line to the maintenance lines in the budget.

As of Friday, the building’s LED switchover has been completed, and only the exterior lighting remains.

“They were able to complete this entire building in a matter of a week and a half,” McMillan said.

Advance Energy is the contractor for Eversource for its Municipal Partnership program, handling all of the program’s paperwork, assessment and installation work.

“It’s a one-stop shopping kind of thing,” said Mark Provencher, the Municipal Program and Electric Vehicle Program manager at Advance Energy.

The program is made possible by the state’s energy efficiency fund.

Provencher said that a school paying for the upgrades all at once is unusual, as most of the time the school takes advantage of Eversource’s 0% financing. He said both small businesses and government entities can take advantage of the municipal program, but that not enough do.

“There is money out there for energy efficiency upgrades,” he said.

Bera Dunau can be reached at
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