Tucson Electric Power provided more than 20,000 LED bulbs to local schools this year as part of a program to help save energy and support education.
For the Schools Energy Efficiency Pilot Program, TEP selected 14 public schools to receive the complimentary LEDs and hired Arizona-based businesses to install them. As a result, the schools are expected to save more than 1 million kilowatt hours.
“Not only can the schools save money on energy, but they also can use that money to reinvest in the students’ education,” said Jessica Vega, Senior Program Manager of Commercial Energy Efficiency Programs and Services.
LEDs are more efficient and last longer than other bulbs, and they provide more consistent light – a benefit for students in large classrooms. The bulbs were installed in classrooms, hallways, common areas and outdoor spaces.
School districts and charter schools were evaluated for the program and selected for the new lighting if they met TEP’s criteria.
Jerry Wood, Vail Director of Facilities and Transportation, said classrooms in three of his district’s elementary schools now have better quality and brighter light with the new bulbs.
“We absolutely appreciate what TEP did,” Wood said. “Being able to upgrade the light systems in the schools, which translates to lower utility bills, is hugely beneficial. It’s an indirect way of getting money back into the classrooms so teachers can help kids.”
One charter school that benefitted was Southside Community School near South Campbell Ave. and E. 36th Street. Nearly 1,200 light bulbs were installed before classes started in the fall.
“The lights are going to save us a lot of money and be better for the environment,” said Melissa Costa, the school’s Grants Assistant. “It frees up money for teachers and more resources.”
Ten traditional public schools in four districts and four charter school campuses received the lights. The schools and the number of light bulbs are:
Vail School District
- Cottonwood Elementary, 2,281
- Senita Valley Elementary, 1,603
- Ocotillo Ridge Elementary, 2,132
Sahuarita Unified School District
- Sopori Elementary, 1,121
Catalina Foothills Unified School District
- Esperero Canyon Middle, 3,610
- Canyon View Elementary, 2,453
- Manzanita Elementary, 1,866
Tucson Unified School District
- Hollinger K-8, 2,297
- Santa Rita High, 482
- Davis Bilingual Magnet Elementary, 1,134
- Tucson International Academy – Midvale campus, 283
- Tucson International Academy – West campus, 347
- Southside Community School, 1,196
- Air & Space Academy in Green Valley, 87