Energy efficiencies power school air conditioning

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii school has cooler classrooms now that it reduced its energy use enough to power air conditioning provided by the state in response to record heat.

Changes at Honowai Elementary included installing new LED lights and solar panels, reported the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/2dLBQsq).

School facilities official Dann Carlson says efficiencies put AC in 27 classrooms.

“When we started plugging them in, we were tripping circuit breakers left and right,” Carlson said. “So we knew that this was a school that was at its electrical infrastructure capacity, and we couldn’t have AC.”

The state education department spent $1.2 million on Honowai.

A sustainability program is working toward all schools generating their own power.

The education department, its energy contractor OpTerra and Hawaiian Electric Company agreed to increase the number of schools with solar panels to 114 out of 256 before January.

OpTerra regional manager Brandon Hayashi says the LED lighting reduced energy use by 42 percent during the day and 62 percent at night.

“I think what it proves is that efficiencies is truly a resource that needs to be maximized,” Hayashi said.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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