A brighter sanctuary for rescued draft horses

Blue Star Equiculture, a sanctuary for rescued draft horses, recently upgraded their energy efficient lighting with help from our Small Business Energy Efficiency Program. The renovated horse barn, located in Palmer, MA, is now equipped with efficient light emitting diode (LED) light bulbs and fixtures. Plus, the facility now benefits from upgraded electrical wiring, helping Blue Star’s staff work in a space that is safer and brighter while keeping energy costs down.

Blue Star Equiculture Before - After

Our Small Business Energy Efficiency Program enables customers like Blue Star to claim incentives for up to 70% of the cost of qualifying energy efficient updates, helping them save money on energy bills while reducing their environmental impact. More than 2,000 small businesses in Massachusetts have taken advantage of the program from January 1, 2014 through November 15, 2014.

“We’re committed to our local communities,” said Michelle Eburn, senior marketing analyst, National Grid. “We place a strong emphasis on doing what we can to improve the lives of our customers and employees. Our Small Business Program helps customers like Blue Star save money on their electricity and natural gas bills, allowing them to focus more of their time and resources on providing services that benefit our communities.”

Horse stallBlue Star Equiculture is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that provides a sanctuary for rescued draft horses that are no longer able to work on farms or pull carriages. Some of the horses come from a background of neglect and mistreatment. At Blue Star, the horses are nurtured and given a healthy environment in which to live out the rest of their lives in dignity or, in some cases, find a forever home via adoption.

“Before the upgrade, we were lighting some of the barn with old 100 watt incandescent bulbs, and that was just not adequate,” said Blue Star’s Paul Moshimer, who oversees the day-to-day operations of the farm and its equipment. “We were forever changing bulbs, because they were always burning out. We tried installing some halogen lights, thinking that would improve the situation, but those were expensive and they didn’t last very long, either.”

Along with other local businesses, we were happy to support a team of engineers and energy efficiency experts that designed and built a customized lighting system that meets Blue Star’s needs. These products — all of which are ENERGY STAR® certified — allow Blue Star to illuminate their barns and grounds while keeping costs far below what they would be for a comparable level of brightness from conventional lighting sources.

We collaborated with lighting manufacturer MaxLite and Waltham-based consultancy Cadmus to design an up-to-date lighting system that optimized efficiency and safety. Local electrical contractor Hickman & Sgroi performed the installations, which included updating the electrical wiring and fixtures to accommodate all-new LED lighting.

Each new LED bulb has an estimated lifetime of 50,000 hours, which means Blue Star’s volunteers will be able to spend less time replacing light bulbs and more time caring for and working with its horses under clear, consistent light.

“The barn is so much easier to see in and work in,” said Moshimer. “The quality of the light is so much more even. It’s been a wonderful addition to the farm. Everybody’s always commenting, ‘Oh, I can’t believe this light!’

“Between the additional light and the savings on our electricity bills, the difference will be substantial,” he continued. “The quality of the light is so wonderful. Every phase of the upgrade has been a revelation.”

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