Rose wants Stephenville to get involved in energy savings program

Published on March 14, 2017

Members of the Stephenville Skating Club practice under the LED lights that were installed in Stephenville Dome last year, which have helped cut the electrical bill by about a third.

©Frank Gale/TC Media

While Coun. Tom Rose is asking the Stephenville town council to get more involved is saving money on power bills, Mayor Tom O’Brien said actions in that regard are continuing and have been for some time.

At the latest meeting of council, Rose said he noticed what he called a substantial bill of $35,000 for electricity and suggested the town get involved in the “Take Charge” program promoted by Newfoundland Power.

The program can help identify and pay for energy-efficiency improvements for a business that invests in energy-saving upgrades in heating and cooling, refrigeration, lighting and controls, and more.

Rebates are offered on the purchase of some energy-efficient products.

“We need to look at our energy requirements, find ways to save money and accrue benefits,” Rose said.

O’Brien said it was just last year that the Stephenville Dome was converted completely to LED (light emitting diode) lighting.

He said research is being carried out in that building toward the feasibility of having a heat-recovery system installed that would utilize energy from the compressors.

Bob Byrnes, former chairman of the Stephenville Gardens Committee that’s responsible for the Stephenville Dome, said he was in that position for months after the new lighting system was installed, and the light bills for the facility dropped by about a third.

O’Brien said the Regional Aquatic Centre, another building owned by the town, is close to completing its conversion to LED lighting.

He said the town is also looking at changing light fixtures in the town hall to more energy-efficient lighting.

O’Brien also reminded Rose a big chunk of that electricity bill he was talking about is for street lighting, which the town has no control over, but is a necessity.

Byrnes said when it comes to the Stephenville Dome and the lower wattage street lighting on both sides of Main Street, the Town of Stephenville is being fiscally responsible.

He said unfortunately the town has no control over the rest of the street lighting in Stephenville and it is really up to Newfoundland Power to change the high-pressure sodium lights.

Byrnes said it would be more effective for Rose to sit down with someone from Newfoundland Power and discuss those changes rather than bringing up something to council that it has no control over.

“Newfoundland Power is urging its customers to take measures in saving energy, but they should look at doing it themselves when it comes to street lighting,” he said.

Byrnes said the Stephenville Downtown Business Association is working at programs to put new street lighting, similar to that on Main Street, on Boland Drive and Prince Rupert Drive, which will make for more energy savings.

Twitter: @WS_FrankGale