Tusculum College students at Knoxville Regional Center light up the Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville with efficiency
A group of students from Tusculum College Knoxville Regional Center recently spent the day helping the Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville save money and the environment.
Four students took a class project to the next level when asked to develop a business plan for a class they were taking. “Rather than just make up a business for the class assignment, we decided to develop a real business plan for a real organization that might not otherwise have the resources to do the research, and which could actually be implemented,” said Debbie McCoy, one of the Tusculum College students.
The team contacted the Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville with the idea of going green and in particular, with an energy-savings, cost-savings project of replacing inefficient incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps.
Sue Beverly, Director of the Knoxville Ronald McDonald House was delighted with the idea of saving money and opened the house for the team to conduct an inventory. She provided the utility bills from the last year for the calculations to be made for the part of their utility bill attributable to lighting. All of the team members worked on the project and utilized several types of software and various spreadsheets to work out the numbers. Others members include Mike Henderson, Alton Reeves and Mark Scansen.
The calculations, based on attributing 15 percent of the electric utility bills to lighting, showed that an average of $500/month could be saved with the change in lighting. According to McCoy, the savings translates to “avoiding burning 18 tons of coal, removing seven cars from the road, and adding ten acres of forest in positive “green” effects.”
Beverly said, “This is such a win/win project for all as we continue to help families while helping the environment as well. We strive to be such good stewards of the donations entrusted to us and the dollars saved by reducing our energy costs can be re-directed to help our families in other ways.”
“The team was dedicated to ensuring that this project was completed,” said Scansen. Because that amount of money is significant in these economic times when people do not have the resources to give to charitable organizations, the team decided to donate the labor and time to replace the bulbs. A sponsor was needed for the cost of the replacement bulbs. After several inquiries, the group located a sponsor - GE Lighting General Distributor, who agreed to provide the new, energy-efficient light bulbs - all 750 of them.