Fire department douses high energy costs

We all want to know that our fire department is ready when the heat’s on, and that nothing goes unnoticed in making that happen, right down to the fixtures.

A lighting project brought blazing rebates to The Board of the Lake of the Four Seasons Fire Force in Wanatah, Indiana. The department, a member of Kankakee Valley REMC, took steps to reduce its energy budget and was rewarded for doing so with a POWER MOVES rebate. (In addition to the monthly savings the facility will see.)

When the Board’s flagship station on County 275 South was built in 2005, the department installed metal halide wallpack lighting units over the bay doors and the side door. The lights provided the safety and security the Fire Force wanted, but they were expensive to operate and burned out fairly quickly.

Board vice president and Lieutenant Jon Buczek also volunteers as the Fire Force’s electrician. He recommended that the department replace 12 metal halide fixtures with newer, energy-efficient LED wallpacks at a cost of just over $2,000. In addition to using substantially less electricity, the LED lights would require less maintenance and replacement, saving even more money in the long term.

Shortly after Lt. Buczek finished installing the lights, one of the department’s captains pointed his attention to Kankakee Valley REMC’s member magazine, which gave him the details about POWER MOVES rebate programs, and he got to work on getting money back.

“The instructions on the forms were very clear,” says Lt. Buczek. “All I had to do was make sure my math was correct and that I had all the receipts and documents that they wanted.”

After Kankakee Valley REMC verified that the work had been completed, the Fire Force received a rebate that covered roughly 25 percent of the Fire Force’s replacement cost.

“Some people might think that it’s strange for a power provider to reward members for using less of what they sell, but there’s a good reason,” explains Kankakee Valley REMC CEO Dennis Weiss. “If our members use less power, we don’t have to buy as much, so our suppliers can generate less. That helps us keep costs under control and protects the environment.

“And in this case, it helps the Fire Force reduce a key part of its operating costs so they can continue to protect local residents in the face of other rising costs.”