Recently, a modern and energy-efficient lighting system was installed at the High School from Gratiesti commune, Chisinau municipality. The project was funded by the UNDP Moldova and the Global Environment Facility. Thus, 518 children, of which 448 students and 71 preschool children, and 46 employees have access to study rooms with sufficient visual comfort.

So far, the institution has used a lighting system based on fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. It generates a poor light source, with average indicators of 139 lux, much below the required level of 400 lux set by the national legislation. Moreover, fluorescent tubes contain mercury, which makes them dangerous to use. At the same time, their recycling, after disposal, involves very high costs.

The new lighting system installed in the 12 study rooms and side spaces was designed from scratch. It contains 247 LED bulbs, which provide an adequate level of illumination. In addition, the cost of the electricity bill will be significantly reduced.

"We solved a pressing issue. Everyone was suffering from it: students, teachers, and parents. Today we have light, and we feel good. We managed to create good conditions for studies, we gained health for children, and it is more economic," says Inga Prohor, director of Gratiesti High School.

Pupils are convinced that the new light source helps them to get better. "After these lamps were installed, our class has become brighter, and more beautiful, with a white light. Now we can see better, even when we use the last bench from the line," says Alexandrina Frunza, a pupil at the Gratiesti High School.

US$14,700 were invested for replacing the lighting system in Gratiesti High School, US$8,000 of which was provided by UNDP Moldova and the Global Environment Facility through the Moldova Sustainable Green Cities project.

To access this grant, Gratiesti High School has established a partnership with LED Market and Galicus companies and the Alliance for Energy Efficiency and Renewables. This offered access to the financing mechanism with elements of energy performance contract.

The pilot project will be extended to other educational institutions as well. The financial resources reimbursed by the beneficiary institutions will be used to create a revolving fund for energy efficiency projects, particularly for the modernization of the lighting systems of public entities.

Contact for mass-media: Gheorghe Riciu, Communications and Media Officer, "Moldova Sustainable Green Cities" Project, 069753015, gheorghe.riciu@undp.org

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