PSEG Recognizes Helen Keller National Center

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From left: Susan Ruzenski, CEO of Helen Keller Services; Steve Orman, PSEG Long Island Senior Energy Consultant; Michael Voltz, PSEG Long Island Director of Energy Efficiency and Renewables; Chris Mastrangelo, Helen Keller National Center Director of Facilities. (Photos courtesy of PSEG)

In recognition of National Energy Efficiency Day (EE Day), PSEG Long Island recognized the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) for helping to conserve energy by installing energy efficient products, such as LED light bulbs, throughout their facility.

The Helen Keller National Center, located in Sands Point, offers a comprehensive National Vocational and Rehabilitation Program, which helps to provide services exclusively to youth and adults who have combined vision and hearing loss. They also offer support and learning opportunities to professionals and family members while also maintaining the National Registry of Persons who are DeafBlind.

The installation of energy-efficient products such as indoor and outdoor lighting not only helps to save energy but also helps enhance lighting throughout the facility. This is especially important for those that are visually impaired since it helps them better navigate the facility both inside the classroom and outdoors.

“When working in a classroom with a diverse group of people who come here for training—their eye conditions vary and depending on that eye condition, the lighting is so very important, Sue Ruzenski, CEO of Helen Keller Services, said. “While a person is learning, whether they are sitting at a computer, learning sign language, learning conversational skills, working towards college goals—whatever it might be—having eye fatigue happens quite frequently so having lighting that can be easier on the eyes and can be adjusted through the use of dimmers can make a big difference especially when you’re going through a day of classes.”

To date, the Helen Keller National Center has received more than $85,000 in rebates for upgrading to efficient indoor and outdoor lighting, saving 460,000 kWh in electricity and more than $73,500 per year. In addition, HKNC received a $38,995 rebate for installing a high-efficiency magnetic bearing centrifugal chiller, which is used to provide cooling to the facilities throughout the campus.

During a press conference, held last week, PSEG Long Island awarded the Helen Keller National Center with a combined $124,191 energy efficiency rebate check.

“We applaud the Helen Keller National Center for carefully assessing energy usage and adopting energy-efficient upgrades,” Michael Voltz, PSEG Long Island’s director of Energy Efficiency and Renewables said in a press release. “PSEG Long Island and its Commercial Efficiency Program are helping to reduce the facilities’ operating costs, freeing up capital that can be directed towards the students.”

“Any savings we can redirect to the people we work with every day is a good thing,” Ruzenski said. “This program from PSEG Long Island has gone a long way toward not just helping us in providing services, but also in being a more responsible consumer of energy.”

From Jan. 1, 2014 to Aug. 31, 2021 residential customers purchased more than 28 million Energy Star light bulbs and fixtures with the help of PSEG Long Island incentives. PSEG states that “compared to incandescent lighting, a single LED bulb will save a household approximately $230 over the lifetime of each bulb. By installing just five Energy Star-certified LED bulbs in the most frequently used lighting fixtures in a home, it’s possible to save 9 percent on energy costs annually.”

According to PSEG, residential customers have taken advantage of more than 158,844 rebates on ENERGY STAR-certified washers, dryers, refrigerators, dehumidifiers and more. Small, medium and large businesses on Long Island have qualified for rebates on more than 26,000 completed energy efficiency projects, which include upgrading lighting fixtures and bulbs to more energy efficient LEDs.

“With this LED lighting, the versatility is built right in,” Chris Mastrangelo, Helen Keller National Center Director of Facilities, said. “We put in dimmers and as we can adjust things it becomes much [easier] to accommodate people’s needs. It’s a win, win win. We did all of this and it cost us nothing. We have a huge savings and we are doing a lot less work when it comes to our lighting and our chiller maintenance.”

For more information on PSEG Long Island’s available residential and commercial rebates and incentives, as well as energy saving tips, visit www.psegliny.com/saveenergyandmoney. The Port Washington News reached out to the HKNC for more information, but did not receive a response at the time of press. For more information about the Helen Keller National Center, visit www.hknc.org.

—Additional information provided by PSEG Long Island

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