GE Lighting, Cleveland, recently worked with Immaculate Heart Academy, Tuscon, Ariz., to relight Biosphere 2, the 3.1-acre glass-dome enclosed campus at Columbia University in Tuscon. The campus is devoted to learning more about energy efficiency and self-sufficient living. By using GE Lighting's GELA lighting software, Tawnya Mann's sixth grade science class analyzed energy usage at Biosphere 2 and at their own school. The lighting retrofit that the students' recommended for Biosphere 2 is expected to save several hundred thousand dollars in energy costs over the life of the newly installed lamps. In their own school, students also discovered an annual estimated $150 per classroom savings — a savings of $22,500 over the life of the lamps.

The GELA online auditor allows students to use a computer to log every existing light bulb in their school or other buildings. The audit provides an instant summary of how much energy they are currently using, how much energy they could save and even recommends which energy- efficient lighting should be used.

Earth Savers Co., a Tuscon-based energy service company was also involved in the project. Results of the students' energy audit of Biosphere 2 were remarkably close to the detailed professional audit completed by Earth Savers.

“The GELA auditor is a great learning program for kids and we enjoyed working with them on the project,” said Randy Decker of Earth Savers.

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