For a year and a half, 7.000 lights cannot be turned off

For nearly a year and a half, a Massachusetts high school has been lit up around the clock because the roughly 7.000 lights in the sprawling building can't be turned off.

The lighting system was installed at Minnechaug Regional High School when it was built a decade ago and was intended to save money and energy. But since the software crashed on August 24, 2021, the lights at the suburban Springfield school have been on all the time, costing taxpayers a ton of money.lights

"We know full well that this is costing taxpayers a significant amount of money," said to NBC News Aaron Osborne, assistant superintendent of finance at the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District.

"We are doing everything we can to solve this problem." Osborne said it's hard to say how much it costs because during and after the pandemic, energy costs are much higher.

"I would say it costs thousands of dollars a month on average, but not tens of thousands."

This is, in part, because the high school uses high-efficiency fluorescent and LED bulbs, and where possible, teachers have manually removed the bulbs in classrooms, while staff have turned off switches not connected to the main system to turn off some of the the exterior lights.

But there is hope on the horizon that the lights in Minnechaug will soon go out. Paul Mustone, president of Reflex Lighting Group, said the components needed to replace the system at the school have finally arrived from the factory in China and they expect to do the installation during the February holidays.

"And yes, there will be a remote override switch so it doesn't happen again," said Mustone, whose company has been in business for more than 40 years.

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Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

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