Mike Krull, Technical Director at the Center for Performing Arts, and Center Executive Director Burt Dikelsky adjust the new, energy efficient lights that will illuminate the stage. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)
University Park, IL–(ENEWSPF)– One of the last things a performer thinks about when taking the stage is whether the lights illuminating their show are energy efficient.
Fortunately for the environment and the budget of the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, Mike Krull and Chuck De Brizzio understand the importance of good, energy conserving lighting.
Krull, Technical Director at the Center, and De Brizzio, Chief Operating Engineer at GSU, recently collaborated successfully to earn an $11,500 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The money will be used to trade the old, outdated, and high-energy theatrical lights with energy efficient alternatives.
“The savings in wattage is so great and the labor to switch the lights is so minimal that the cost savings is phenomenal,” said Krull. “We save 45 percent in energy and the new lights are 40 percent brighter by virtue of technical improvements in theater lights. We actually recoup the purchase price of the new lights.”
As with all scrapped materials at GSU, in addition to the energy and cost savings as many of the old lights as possible are recycled as repair parts to be reused, as scrap materials, or as recyclables.
“We are always looking for ways to reduce energy consumption and recycle here at GSU,” explains De Brizzio. “We began with a performance contract in 1998 and implemented the energy efficient proposals suggested back then. Now we are conducting another performance review to determine new ways we can conserve.”
As a result of a previous grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, the university updated other lighting fixtures in the theater, television studios, and around campus. Additionally, GSU has one of the largest solar panel installation in Illinois, providing energy to heat water, including water for the swimming pool and showers in the Recreation and Fitness Center.
“One of the most positive outcomes of seeking and earning these grants is that we are in a position to help other schools in the region, including high school, community colleges, and universities, seek their own grants to improve their lighting efficiency,” said Krull.
Helping other institutions is, according to Krull, a way to give back. “This isn’t curing cancer. Giving this advice is easy, but it helps the environment in a big way. We are reducing our carbon footprint and saving money. It is win-win for everyone.”