VTrans equips state garages with efficient lighting

FERRISBURGH -- Working in a dimly lit garage can be challenging for anyone, especially for employees who log up to 50 hours a week. And when its not just one garage but 49 across Vermont, the need for better working conditions is even more imperative.

Thats why the Vermont Agency of Transportation, also known as VTrans, recently upgraded all of its garages with energy-efficient lighting, including the Ferrisburg facility on Route 7. As a result, employees are enjoying the benefits of a brighter working space while VTrans is paying less on its electric bills.

Our employees let us know that the lighting in many of our garages was substandard, but now that improvements have been made we are getting kudos for making their work environment much brighter, said VTrans Secretary Neale Lunderville. When you are saving money and making life easier for your employees, thats a win-win situation.

The 49 VTrans garages, most of which were built between 1960 and 1980, house the equipment necessary to plow roads, repair potholes, gather and dump refuse, and handle other transportation-related duties. The new lighting makes it both easier and safer for employees to service their equipment.

Working with Efficiency Vermont, the statewide energy efficiency utility, VTrans installed approximately 1,400 new high-performance fluorescent fixtures. The project not only provided improved lighting, but is expected to save VTrans $8,327 a year in energy costs. Efficiency Vermont provided incentives for the project as well as expert advice throughout the process.

In addition to the partnership with Efficiency Vermont, the project was made possible with help from the State Resource Management Revolving Fund (SRMRF). SRMRF was created in 2004 to fund conservation measures that will likely result in a life-cycle cost benefit for the state.

The Department of Buildings and General Services is thrilled when any state agency embarks on an energy conservation project, said Tom Sandretto, deputy commissioner of Vermont State Department of Buildings and General Services (BGS) that manages SRMRF. We were happy to help VTrans secure funding because the energy efficiency was a virtually guaranteed payback, so this project was as close to a no-brainer as possible.

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