Friday, March 24, 2023

The light has been on at this US school for 1.5 years

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Day and night, 7,000 lamps illuminate the entire building of Minnechaug High School in the US state of Massachusetts – without interruption. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a weekend, school holidays or an energy crisis.

This leads to absurd scenarios: if a teacher wants to show a film, he first unscrews the lightbulb, according to the high school newspaper. But the initial amusement was quickly overshadowed by frustration. “This is a waste of energy, we feel helpless,” says the article in the school newspaper, quoted by NBC News.

The reason for the energy waste is actually energy-saving ambitions: in 2012 the school wanted to install a “green lighting system” whose software can dim or switch off the light as required. But after an update gone wrong in August 2021, the software can now neither dim nor switch off. The lights always remain in the default setting: maximum brightness.

This software problem is angering the school, the citizens and the city council. “The image of waste” in the current situation was sharply criticized by the deputies. A number of complaints have been received from the public. Permanent lighting is also expensive, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars a month.

The high school politely declined to install a completely new lighting system for $1.2 million. And plans for a partial replacement have also been thwarted by the pandemic.

The light is still on at the moment. The boss of the repair company is now aiming for February to finally free Minnechaug from the permanent light. One learned from the situation: This time there is an on/off switch that works independently of the software. (hey)

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