Changing Lightbulbs to Save District Thousands


Tens of thousands of light bulbs wait in the DMPS Operations warehouse for installation at buildings throughout the district.

DMPS’s award-winning Facilities Management team has been saving taxpayers money districtwide for decades; devising ways to save on energy costs at all 70 of our buildings. This latest venture will involve something you do at home a lot — changing lightbulbs. But when you change 91,000 lightbulbs at once, the light bill stands to take a dramatic dip.

Right now in the Operations warehouse sit tens of thousands of light bulbs waiting to be distributed to DMPS buildings where DMPS staff will install them. The large scale transition from 32-watt fluorescent bulbs to more energy-efficient 25-watt bulbs will save the district and taxpayers $135,000 annually.

Perhaps the best part of this equation is the cost of the bulbs — $195,650.  Or to Des Moines Public Schools — $0.  Energy and Environmental Specialist Dave Berger says a MidAmerican Energy rebate will cover the cost of purchasing the bulbs.

“And the new bulbs will greatly improve the quality of lighting in our buildings,” Berger said. “They have a slightly higher color temperature, mimicking natural daylight. This change in light appearance not only provides a more inviting learning environment, but has actually been shown to improve student learning in some settings.”

The team hopes to have all 91,000 bulbs installed by the end of December.  The bulbs being replaced will be recycled with an outside vendor.

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