“Torah Institute Announces Energy Efficiency Achievement” Baltimore Jewish Life

March 27, 2014 Written by  Comments Print


Owings Mills, MD, Mar. 27, 2014— Torah Institute (TI) is pleased to announce completion of a comprehensive lighting component upgrade which will yield a $2,350 monthly savings. Funding came from leveraging generous BGE utility rebates with its partnership with The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore's Green Loan Fund and The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore Sustainability Initiative's Energy Efficiency Projects for Schools funded through AVI CHAI.

 “We are very proud to be a model of energy conservation for schools,” said Yaakov Goldstein, Executive Vice President of Torah Institute. “This project is consistent with the efforts of our finance office to eliminate waste in all forms - in time, in spending, and now we can include energy as well. It not only fulfills the mitzvah of baal tashchis (broadly applied to the prohibition of all forms of waste), but also results in significant annual savings to the school.”

Until now, nearly half of the school’s electric bill was spent on lighting. To improve this inefficient situation, 850 light fixtures were re-lamped and re-ballasted. The change included transferring fixtures from a four bulb fixture at 62 percent efficiency to a two bulb fixture at 87 percent efficiency. New components use 55 percent less energy to operate and produce more light than the original four bulbs. This project cost $45,000, but was completely covered by a BGE rebate program. The initial cost of the project was covered by an interest free loan, provided by The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore's Green Loan Fund.

In addition to the approximate $28,000 per year in savings, the new bulbs should last more than ten times the life of the replaced bulbs, resulting in additional savings of cost and labor associated with changing light bulbs every summer over the next 12 years.

Finally, the school earned $1,500 in scrap metal sales from the old fixtures. The old bulbs that were only a few months old were donated to local non-profit organizations, along with information on the project that Torah Institute performed. Some of those non-profits have started their own lighting projects to copy the success that Torah Institute has achieved.

“On top of the significant cost savings associated with this project, the school is able to impart a series of valuable lessons to its student body,” said Yehuda Neuberger, Co-chair of The Associated's Day School Task Force.  “Not only is conservation a Torah value, such a project models responsibility and inculcates an appreciation of the need for careful allocation of funds by communally-supported institutions.  I applaud Torah Institute for exercising leadership and finding creative opportunities to further some of the more indirect elements of its educational mission.”

Future projects include retro-commissioning out the existing HVAC systems to allow them to operate 15-20% more efficiently, and replacing the twenty six 250 watt metal halide outdoor parking lot light fixtures with high efficient LED pole lights and wall packs, reducing the energy consumption by 20%. The added bonus for these 2 projects is that the school will reduce the expected maintenance costs on the HVAC system by 25% over the next 10 - 15 years and will drop the annual maintenance on the outdoor fixtures to no cost for the next 25 years or more.

Torah Institute participated in the Sustainability Initiative’s Energy Efficiency Projects for Schools, funded through AVI CHAI, and through this project, coordinated the funding from the state for the audit that identified the completed and potential/future projects.

"Torah Institute is taking a serious step forward in efforts to save money and protect the environment through its high-efficiency lighting upgrades," said Alexander (Brett) Weil, LEED AP, VP of Energy Solutions at greeNEWit and an active parent volunteer. "I commend the facility’s professionals and executive leadership who recognized the benefits of the projects and the cost savings which could be achieved at negligible up front cost. Though incentives vary by project type and scope, for this project, BGE rebates funded over 100% of the fixture costs. All local mosdos should seriously consider taking action NOW to follow Torah Institute’s leadership. The Empower Md. rebates are only guaranteed to be funded to their current levels through the end of 2014.” 

SITE 720 Torah Institute Energy Savings - Press Release

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