NORFOLK, NE – Things are looking much brighter these days at the Norfolk Senior Citizens Center.
Vicki Goeken, executive director, said Nebraska Public Power District conducted an energy audit of the facility and determined that it could save approximately $4,000 a year if the center changed from fluorescent lighting to the latest technology – a Light Emitting Diode (LED) system.
LEDs are energy efficient, using approximately 85-percent less energy than halogen or incandescent lighting – meaning significant savings on electric bills.
Goeken said work initially began on changing out the building’s lighting system.
“We did hire a contractor to change out some fixtures, but in order to save money we hoped we could do the rest of it ourselves. There were hundreds of lights that needed to be changed out.”
However, they came to realize that the rest of the work would cost much more than what was budgeted. Goeken said it sounded “scary” to think that volunteers, many of whom are senior citizens, would be climbing ladders to do the work.
“So I contacted Northeast to see if some students would come down and work on the remaining fixtures… and they said yes.”
“This worked out perfectly with our energy classes so we were happy to come down, change the lamps out, rewire the fixtures and allow the center to have a better quality of light at less cost,” said Dan Frohberg, Northeast, electrical construction and control instructor.
He said the 18 sophomore students had been discussing this very type of work in their controlled wiring and energy conservation classes. It was an opportunity for the students to gain real world experiences on current technology and understand the cost savings of LEDs.
“It’s a good experience for the students as to what they need to bring to a job site, what they need to have on hand with them and make sure everything is available, as well as customer service,” Frohberg said.
The new lights are expected to last 10,000-15,000 hours.
Goeken said she is grateful to the Northeast students and their instructors for the work.
“It’s just been a lifesaver,” she said.
Northeast Community College electrical construction and control students place new LED lights at the Norfolk Senior Citizens Center recently.