South Central School Corporation officials were studying how solar panels could help lower energy costs for schools when a solar salesperson told them that they didn't have to look up the answer. They just had to look up.
South Central School Corporation received $10,035 in Power Moves rebates from Kankakee Valley REMC, its local electric provider and Power Moves for replacing fluorescent lights and fixtures with more energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures and more than 3,000 LED bulbs in the elementary and junior-senior high school. After a solar panel salesperson told school officials that upgrading to LED lighting would be the first major step to take to lower energy use, they shifted to the lighting as a more cost-effective alternative. The upgrades were in hallways, classrooms, and a gymnasium that has lights on daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
"The way we looked at it, we are trying to do what we can to reduce expenses for the school corporation," said Dr. Theodore Stevens, superintendent of South Central School Corporation. "Reducing energy use was one of the things that we could do."
As school officials considered the potential project, they reached out to Kankakee Valley REMC. Co-op employees gave suggestions on the project and supported South Central through the Power Moves application process.
"Anytime we want to do something, we just call Kankakee Valley REMC, and they give us specifics," said Jeff Rucker, director of maintenance for South Central School Corporation. "It is that easy."
South Central School Corporation previously received Power Moves rebates for variable frequency drives on HVAC air handlers. The school system also has received Operation Round Up grants from Kankakee Valley REMC.
"South Central schools do a great job serving our community, and preparing our kids to become future leaders," said Scott Sears, CEO of Kankakee Valley REMC. "They are critical to our local community. We are proud to serve them and help them be successful."
The LED upgrades already had a noticeable difference in the schools' energy use. Stevens noted that the schools have lowered their energy use by at least 10% each month last fall.
"They have been a great partner to South Central schools," Stevens said of Kankakee Valley REMC. "They have been very good to us, and we trust their advice and counsel."
Last year, $91,492 in rebates through the Power Moves program was paid to 14 organizations in the KV REMC service territory. If you are interested in finding options for your business or organization, visit powermoves.com for 2020 rebate information.