Savings Score

Posted on Apr 28 2020 in Kankakee Valley REMC
Photo of check presentation to Porter Township School Corp.
Porter Township School Corporation accepts the Power Moves rebate for lighting upgrades at Boone Grove High School.  From left, Bryan Busse, director of facilities; Dr. Stacey Schmidt, superintendent; and Ben Parrish, assistant superintendent accept the check from Amanda Steeb, director of marketing and communications for KV REMC (second from right).  

Students returning to Boone Grove High School last fall were surprised to see the gym floor’s new look – and not just because it had been resurfaced. 

The Porter Township School Corporation received $25,000 in Power Moves® rebates from Kankakee Valley REMC. The school corporation received the rebates for upgrading Boone Grove’s lighting and fixtures to more energy efficient LEDs, which are brighter and use less energy than incandescent lighting. Last summer, the Boone Grove High School, which is served by Kankakee Valley REMC, installed LEDs and fixtures in the school’s gym, classrooms, and even the parking lot.

“The rebate was more of a phenomenal surprise,” said Dr. Stacey Schmidt, superintendent of the Porter Township School Corporation. “With our state funding and operations, it is a struggle to fund and maintain our facilities, so $25,000 is amazing to support what we are doing here in our school system.” 

The upgraded lighting system in the Boone Grove High School gymnasium can be at “broadcast quality” at only 90% of the system’s capacity, said Bryan Busse, director of facilities for the Porter Township School Corporation. They also can be easily dimmed and configured to provide a “stadium effect,” he added. After upgrading to the new lighting, the wear on the basketball court floor was more easily visible. That led district officials, who already were considering resurfacing the gym floor, to move forward with the project. 

“Before, you had to turn on the old lights and wait 10 minutes until they got to full strength,” Busse said. “And now, you turn the LEDs on and they’re bright.”

The project included occupancy sensors in the classrooms, which automatically turn lights on when someone enters a room and turns lights off after inactivity. Schmidt noticed that the new LEDs “totally changed the light quality” throughout the school. 

“It has a different feel in the classrooms,” Schmidt said. “I would never have said that lighting matters until we did this.”

The lighting upgrade was the final in a series of energy efficiency projects at Boone Grove High School. The school corporation had partnered with a contractor on upgrades to all the district schools to help lower long-term energy costs. The multi-year effort had started in several other schools before the final projects in the high school.

“Our schools play a critical role in serving our community to prepare children and young adults to be leaders,” said Scott Sears, CEO of Kankakee Valley REMC. “We are happy to have worked with Porter Township School Corporation on the Power Moves rebates for the upgrades to Boone Grove High School. The long-term energy savings will continue to support Boone Grove’s mission of supporting and educating students.”

The school district also is trying to use its energy efficiency efforts to reflect the importance of social consciousness and awareness to teach students, Schmidt said.

“That is part of who we are as a district: trying to be responsible and showing our kids how our consumption impacts the environment,” she added.

To learn more about how your home or business can qualify for Power Moves rebates, visit