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As part of construction project, energy efficiency upgrades will save East Hampton School District $76,000 per year.

Original article written by Taylor K. Vecsey March 2, 2012

The East Hampton, NY, School District and its students are reaping the rewards of having new energy efficient buildings.


East Hampton High School save $76,000 with a cool roof coating.

The district will save an estimated $76,000 per year on energy costs for the high school alone due to efficiency upgrades undertaken during the construction project that largely finished up in the high school in 2010.

During its $80 million construction project, which included adding about 100,000 square feet onto the high school, the district worked with Long Island Power Authority to identify ways to go green and lower its energy consumption. 

One of the improvements made was the addition of “cool roof” technology that was installed at the high school and the middle school. “Cool Roofs” are highly reflective and emissive materials that stay 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit cooler in the summer sun, according to LIPA.

The material is white, reflecting the heat instead of absorbing it, and blankets just under 200,000 square feet of the high school, according to Eric Woellhof, the facilities director. The technology reduces energy costs, as well as cutting maintenance costs, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Cool roof” additions at the middle school is still being worked on, Woellhof said.

Other upgrades at the high school include high performance lighting and lighting controls, a new energy efficient chiller for the school’s heating, ventilation and air condition system to reduce the cost of cooling the building and variable frequency drives that optimize the chiller’s power use.

“The facility itself becomes a lesson to the students of how to save and how to be environmentally friendly,” said Michael D. Hervey, LIPA Chief Operating Officer, during a press conference at the school on Friday.

The district will save up to an estimated 423,000 kilowatt hours per year and reduce its peak electric demand by 116 kilowatts, according to the power authority.

LIPA officials formally presented the district with a rebate check for $213,573 that helped to offset the cost of the efficiency upgrades. The exact amount the upgrades cost was not immediately available.

The opportunity is available to government and school buildings, Hervey said. “This is one of the few programs, capital expenditures, that districts can make that lowers your costs. That money can go right back into programs instead of sending it off to LIPA,” he said.

The rebate was made possible from LIPA’s Efficiency Long Island Commercial Efficiency program. Efficiency Long Island is a customer-funded, 10-year, $924 million energy efficiency program, a statement said.

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., I-Sag Harbor, who is also a member of the assembly’s environmental conservation committee, said it’s a win-win situation. “In difficult times like this, dollars that can be saved to preserve programs and keep the quality of education high at a time when federal and state funding may not be there at levels they were in the past,” he said.

District Superintendent Rich Burns thanked the community, on behalf of the board of education, for the support for the construction project and added, “Our respectful and harmonious relationship with nature is a value we want all of our students to learn.”

In a statement, the power authority said the district’s upgrades will have the equivalent effect of reducing 40 cars from the road for one year or 24,908 gallons of gas not consumed for a year.

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