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Massena Electric Department looks at replacing Massena Arena lighting

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MASSENA — Lighting equipment in the Massena Arena dates to the 1970s and could use an overhaul to make it more energy-efficient, according to Massena Electric Department Superintendent Andrew J. McMahon.

How to pay for it, however, is a question that hasn’t been answered.

“MED was measuring up the lighting and light ballasts. They’re hoping to help us” replace the lighting, Recreation Superintendent Richard A. Boprey said.

Mr. McMahon said MED has “a variety of energy-efficiency initiatives going on,” and its examination of lighting in the arena was part of that effort.

“We’ve been focusing on residential. We’re just starting our commercial industrial program,” he said.

Mr. McMahon said he knows the lighting in the arena is bad and the Massena Recreation Department’s utility bill is high because of the old fixtures.

“Those are really old, really inefficient fixtures. What we want to do is figure out how much energy efficiency we can achieve and how to achieve those savings,” he said.

“Technology has gone through so much. We’re just looking at T5 fluorescent. That’s what they’ve done at a number of other rinks in New York,” Mr. McMahon said.

If the plan is implemented, he said, the Massena Recreation Department could look at a possible reduction of about 60 to 70 percent in the lighting portion of the arena utility bills.

“There would be a longer life, far less maintenance and we’re saving power,” Mr. Boprey said.

But finding funding for the project is an obstacle.

“We have to figure out the cost to achieve the savings. We don’t know yet. We’ll look at the cost and report back” to the Massenena Electric Utility board, Mr. McMahon said.

“I’m hoping it’s not money out of our pocket,” Mr. Boprey said.

Mr. McMahon said MED still is interested in trying to convince residential customers to look at energy-efficient changes in their homes.

“We’ve been working really hard to try to get residential customers to buy into these energy-efficiency programs. We can’t get the residential people to buy into the program as much as we’d like,” he said.

The less energy that’s used, the less MED has to purchase as supplemental power, cutting back on its cost of operations and ultimately how much customers are paying.

“It really does lower everybody’s bills,” Mr. McMahon said.

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