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Green light

IdeaSMART submission helps educate employees

Photo of Post Office lobby
The IdeaSMART platform was recently used to promote improvements to Post Office lobby lighting.

When Pandora Armstrong wanted to share her idea on how to reduce energy usage in Postal Service facilities, she knew where to turn: IdeaSMART.

Armstrong, a West Shokan, NY, retail associate, recently used the idea-sharing platform to suggest all Post Office retail lobbies open for 24 hours be equipped with motion-activated lighting.

“I researched how many 24-hour offices there were across the country and estimated the electrical usage,” said Armstrong, a 17-year employee. “I was thinking there had to be a better way.”

Greg Terdich, an engineer with USPS Facilities, reviewed Armstrong’s submission after it received the required number of “up votes” from employees who liked the idea.

Terdich joined the IdeaSMART discussion that followed Armstrong’s suggestion to educate participants on the process for local installation of occupancy sensors, the technology required for motion-activated lighting.

He explained that these sensors allow lights to fully illuminate when a customer enters a lobby and automatically dim after hours. USPS installs this technology during routine lobby upgrades, although Post Offices and other locations can contact their field maintenance organization to request upgrades sooner.

Terdich credits IdeaSMART with helping to get the word out about the Postal Service’s efforts to cut energy costs. “Pandora’s suggestion raised awareness of the importance of this lighting,” he said.

Armstrong joins other employees who have used IdeaSMART to suggest postal improvements.

“I think it’s a great avenue,” she said. “There’s a lot of potential.”

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