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Sometimes It’s Who You Know: St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School Gets a Lighting Upgrade

By Chuck McDade

Sometimes It’s Who You Know: St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School Gets a Lighting Upgrade

By Chuck McDade

Published 12-08-23

Submitted by Pepco

A classroom with updated lighting.

Pepco | The Source

At the close-knit, 250-student St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School in Upper Marlboro, Md., everyone seems to know everyone. That helps explain how a parent was able to set in motion a plan that brought the school thousands of dollars in new lighting incentives and subsequent energy savings.

The opportunity

Like many private schools in the area, the St. Mary building is older and not entirely modernized. On top of that, budgets can be tight, so principal Ashley Lewis can only pursue improvements that are either absolutely essential or fiscally responsible.

“We love our building,” said Ashley. “We work really hard to keep it bright and colorful, but the reality is the building was built in the 1960s. So, a lot of the grants we receive go toward maintaining the A/C, the heat, the water, and the things that are necessary for our students to thrive here.”

The school never considered lighting upgrades to be necessary until a parent brought the possibility of energy-saving LED bulbs—and the rebates that came with them—to the school’s attention.

“A parent reached out and said, ‘I work with this guy. He keeps talking about this incentive program. You should connect with him,’” said Ashley.

That individual was Jason Kim from CS Koida, an energy efficiency service provider that undertakes large-scale upgrade projects around the country. CS Koida suggested that St. Mary replace the older lights in its building with brighter, more energy-efficient alternatives and introduced the school’s administrators to Pepco’s cost-covering grant program for financial support.

The upgrades

The project completely replaced all the lighting in the school, and was able to be completed over spring break with very little disruption to the students and faculty.

“Honestly, there weren’t a lot of challenges,” Ashley recalls. “It was a pretty seamless program once we got in contact with the right people.”

Next it was time to apply for the Pepco rebate.

“It was definitely easier than we thought,” says Lewis. “When we work with different grants and rebate programs, some of them sound great on the surface, but there are catches and we end up paying more than what we anticipated. This was not the case with Pepco. We had no problems with this program.”

The benefits

Since the lighting upgrades were completed, St. Mary has seen energy savings of 31,315 kWh and cost savings of $32,914.

“Without this program, we would not have looked into upgrading our lights until they became a problem,” said Ashley. “The Pepco program definitely made this possible.”

Our Energy Savings for Business program provides financial incentives and technical assistance to help businesses maximize energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. Financial incentives can cover up to 70% of project costs. For more information, visit or call 866-353-5798.

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Pepco is a unit of Exelon (Nasdaq: EXC), a Fortune 250 company and the nation’s largest utility company, serving more than 10 million customers. Pepco provides safe and reliable energy service to approximately 919,000 customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland.

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