The Montessori School receives nearly $10k from SWEPCO for improved lighting
Front row: Delian Ngeth. Back row from left to right: Ann Maxey, Elena Pizarro, Keeghan Moore, Emmett Beal and Jeff Thigpen.

Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) presented The Montessori School for Shreveport with a $9,964.24 check for recently upgrading all of its lighting to high-efficiency LEDs (light-emitting diodes). In addition to being the most energy efficient lighting option on the market, LEDs have much longer lifespans and very low maintenance costs compared to traditional fluorescent lighting.

A total of 369 lights were replaced – 335 lights in classrooms, offices and common areas as well as 34 exterior lights. The sharp Montessori students were quick to notice the change in lighting. Kindergartener Delian Ngeth enthusiastically talked about how bright and pretty the new lights are as she walked through the well-lit halls of the school, making the rhinestones in her pink tiara barrette sparkle.
Seventh grader Elena Pizarro shared how “the dimmers have helped a lot. Now we can make them darker if we want to but then they can also be really bright, which is nice.”

“It’s easier to do your work with brighter lights,” said third grader Keeghan Moore. “Even if they’re too bright, you can dim them so that’s good for our play settings.” While the dimmable lighting feature is new to the classrooms, it’s not new information to the students. What was news to the students? The fact that LEDs use less electricity.

After hearing this, fourth-grader Emmett Beal said he “thinks this is better for the environment since the less energy we produce, the more that we save for new generations to come.”

The group talked about how some of the old lights were dull or brown, wouldn’t turn on and even buzzed. “One of the reasons we were glad to do this is because many of our fixtures were getting old and the lights weren’t functioning properly,” said Montessori Business Manager Ann Maxey. “The SWEPCO incentive was a great opportunity to move forward and make that change, saving energy and saving money.”

Moving forward, the use of LED lights when compared to the use of older, inefficient lights will yield annual savings of approximately $7,500 on their SWEPCO bill. This project is part of SWEPCO’s Commercial Solutions Program, which was developed to pay monetary incentives to commercial customers for new construction and retrofit installation of a wide range of measures that reduce demand and save energy. Incentives are based on deemed savings, or the verified demand and energy savings that occur at the customer's site.

About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)
SWEPCO, an American Electric Power (AEP: NYSE) company, serves 535,000 customers in western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com.

About American Electric Power (AEP)
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes
utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

SWEPCO Corporate Communications
Michelle Marcotte 318-673-3532

Front row: Delian Ngeth. Back row from left to right: Ann Maxey, Elena Pizarro, Keeghan Moore, Emmett Beal and Jeff Thigpen.