ISE Interns Shift Three Rivers CC to Sustainable Lighting

Alex Fazzino (left) Oscar Gomez (right) review the Three Rivers Community Collage lighting blueprints.

This January marked the conclusion of an Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) project that began two years ago. Student interns from Eastern’s ISE conducted a massive conversion to energy-efficient lighting at Three Rivers Community College.

In total, 8,575 light bulbs were replaced with LED lights by students Emma Avery ’19, Tara Brooks ’18, Leticia Denoya ’17, Alex Fazzino ’18, Oscar Gomez ’18, Weronika Lewkowicz ’17 and Zachary Stygar ’17. The interns have all since graduated.

Their auditing efforts included counting the light bulbs in all of Three Rivers’ buildings, along with identifying fixtures, bulb types, running hours and cost to create a master spreadsheet for later use. The upgrade is estimated to save more than $55,000 in energy costs moving forward — equivalent to the tuition for 14 full-time students.

In addition to gaining insight on how different kinds of bulbs can create different ambiances, the ISE interns learned that some lighting choices may be aesthetically pleasing but waste energy. The Eastern students spent six months on the project, working with facility managers, lighting specialists and contractors.

Along with initiatives throughout Connecticut to advance the adoption of practical, cost-effective solutions and strategies that increase energy efficiency, sustainability and resilience, the ISE works in close partnership with Eastern’s Center for Sustainable Energy Studies and the Facilities Management and Planning Department to incorporate sustainability into the academic offerings, physical infrastructure and culture of Eastern Connecticut State University.

Written by Jordan Corey