The Harlan Fire Department will benefit from a $2,500 grant from the Ford Foundation coordinated through the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) in Berea.
The funds were used to purchase occupancy sensors for the office areas of the fire station.
Linette Hutchison, fire chief, said sometime near the end of the year, she was notified by Joshua Bills, a representative of MACED, that the fire department had been chosen to receive a grant for an energy efficiency project from funds they had received from the Ford Foundation.
“Funds were received from the Ford Foundation and we chose several different areas to distribute those funds, with Harlan Fire Department being one of them,” said Bills. “MACED’s Energy Efficient Enterprises (E3) project works to promote energy efficiency to small businesses and nonprofits located in Appalachian Kentucky.”
Hutchison said she chose the occupancy sensors grant for the lighting in the office areas because people are “notorious for walking out of the rooms and leaving all the lights on.”
“I contacted one of the electrical contractors here in Harlan and when it was all said and done, we now have 10 sensors installed in the office area of the building,” said Hutchison.
An occupancy sensor is a lighting control device that detects occupancy of a space by people and turns the lights on or off automatically, using infrared or ultrasonic technology Hutchison said.
Occupancy sensors are typically used to save energy, provide automatic control and comply with building codes, she added.
“This will save the department, as well as the city, money in the long run with their electrical bills,” said Hutchison. “We are grateful for these funds.”
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-909-4147 or on Twitter @Nola_hde