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Luis Hospital Seeing Savings, Thanks to Energy Office


Pictured is the first of three solar panels to be installed at the hospital.Super-efficient LED lights at Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital are saving real money now, and solar panels will be saving much more by fall, hospital officials said Tuesday during a press tour with the V.I. Energy Office, which funded the money-saving projects.

Some 180 new LED lights have already been installed through a $20,000 Energy Office grant, and a 30-kilowatt solar panel array is about a third of the way to completion, thanks to a $200,000 grant, said Energy Office Media Affairs Representative Don Buchanan at the press tour.

The LED lights are already a big win for the hospital, according to Peter Abrahams, the hospital’s vice president of operations.

"We were paying $400,000 to $450,000 a month for electricity, which is very difficult for us," said Abrahams. But the LED lights purchased through the Energy Office has reduced consumption enough to save about $14,000 per year, Abrahams said. On top of that, they generate much less heat than traditional fluorescent bulbs, and last five times as long, so they save money on air conditioning and on maintenance, he said. The hospital has used its own resources to purchase another 40 lights and plans to switch over entirely as resources permit, Abrahams said.

If all the hospital’s lights were switched, the savings would be upwards of $175,000 per year, said Energy Office Engineering Supervisor Radclyffe Percy. And once the solar panels are completely installed, the savings will jump dramatically, as the panels will power most of the hospital’s lights during daylight hours, he said.

The solar panels are being installed by a company called iEnergy. The Energy Office had many of the panels and materials on hand from a previous contract, and Juan Luis anted up $95,000 in matching funds to get the $200,000 grant, Percy said. Installation should be complete by the end of May or early June, and the system should be operating at full power by September, he said.

The Energy Office selected the hospital for these projects because it is publicly funded and because its large power bills were clearly a drag on its resources, according to Percy.

"Since everyone benefits from the public hospital, we felt it was an efficient use of our resources," he said.


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