New Delhi: At a time when the dialogue for climate change has become more pronounced, a school in Massachusetts, US is stuck with 7,000 lights on all day and night for about a year and a half and no one has been able to turn them off. After a computer glitch in 2021, Minnechaug Regional High School hasn’t been able to shut down the lighting system, however, the ordeal may come to an end next month at a hefty price, according to AFP.
“We are very much aware this is costing taxpayers a significant amount of money,” Aaron Osborne, a regional school finance official told NBC News, adding that the blunder was costing thousands of dollars a month.
“We have been doing everything we can to get this problem solved.”
According to NBC, the school board had insisted on a “green lighting system” as a cost-saving measure. The system ran on software that was installed by a company called 5th Light to control the lights in the building. It was designed to save energy and thus save money as it would automatically adjust the lights as needed.
The school staff noticed that the lights were not dimming in the daytime and burning brightly through the night in August 2021.
“The lighting system went into default,” said Osborne. “And the default position for the lighting system is for the lights to be on.”
As per AFP, the school’s student newspaper reported that a key computer server could not be fixed, and repairs were thwarted as the company that installed the new system in 2012 changed hands several times.
Aside from this, global supply chain issues also delayed efforts to get necessary parts.
NBC stated that some teachers manually removed some bulbs from fixtures to reduce the wasteful electricity consumption.
Replacement parts have finally arrived, and a “software transition” is scheduled for next month. Officials say replacing the server and lighting will cost between $75,000 and $80,000.