In the next month a subtle, yet major, change will occur in Redeemer’s hallways and classrooms. A thousand new 18-watt LED lighting tubes will replace the 32-watt fluorescent lighting tubes currently used in major areas on Redeemer’s campus, leading to a 44% reduction in electricity use for lights that are on the most.
In the fall of 2016, emeritus professor of chemistry, Dr. Henry Brouwer, approached Redeemer with a proposal. By donating the base cost for each lightbulb, Brouwer made it possible for Redeemer to leverage grant money from Ontario’s Save on Energy conservation program, which is run through local hydro companies.
“This donation won’t simply have a one-time impact,” Brouwer says, “but will save Redeemer a significant amount of money every year, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact on creation through lower resource use.” Brouwer is heavily involved in climate stewardship initiatives as a regional coordinator for the Christian Reformed Church’s Climate Witness Project, where he encourages churches to learn more about climate change and reduce their environmental footprints.
The projected savings from the new lightbulbs, targeted in areas where lights are for more than 16 hours a day, is estimated to be at least $12,700 a year. Annual electricity use will be reduced by 78,000 kWh (approximately 55 metric tons of carbon dioxide), which is the equivalent average electricity use of eight homes. In addition to reducing energy costs, light brightness will be improved. LED tubes emit more light and last longer than the older fluorescent tubes, reducing replacement costs.
“It shows our commitment to God’s creation when we reduce our environmental footprint as this project does,” says Alfred Mazereeuw, director of physical plant and security. “It’s a visible reminder that Redeemer is committed to creation stewardship.”