Blount County Schools’ partnership with Schneider Electric to improve energy efficiency at 20 district facilities is expected to generate $14.6 million in energy and operational savings.
Officials from the Alabama school district, located to the north of Birmingham in Oneonta, had wanted to modernize their buildings for many years, but they were previously held back by limited funding, the superintendent Rodney Green said in an announcement about the partnership.
This project is being financed through an energy savings performance contract, and the anticipated savings should come from energy efficiency measures, according to Schneider Electric.
- Installing interior LED lighting and controls for classrooms
- Installing exterior LED lighting
- Installing a district-wide VoIP telecommunications system to improve communication
- Adding water-reduction technologies to multiple facilities
- Modernizing the HVAC
- Sealing windows, doors, gaps, and cracks across all buildings
- Adding a new district-wide building automation system
- Replacing the boiler system at Susan Moore High School with a new variant refrigerator flow system
- Replacing the roof and HVAC systems at Hayden Primary School
In the past, the maintenance staff had to drive around the district’s facilities, which are quite widespread, in order to monitor building equipment, Schneider Electric says. A new district-wide building automation system should help streamline operations and make things easier for the staff.
“Like other schools in Alabama and across the country, Blount County Schools faced an all-too-common dilemma: It was over-spending on utilities and needed to address critical infrastructure needs without placing a burden on local taxpayers,” Tammy Fulop, vice president of Schneider Electric, said in the announcement. “We’re proud to help the district accomplish its goals by reinvesting current expenditures into facility renewal.”
Elsewhere in the state, Schneider Electric has partnerships with a quarter of all the schools in Alabama. The company says that over the last 25 years, it has implemented more than 675 energy savings performance contract projects throughout the US, saving clients nearly $2 billion.
Retrofits and upgrades can produce significant results for American school districts. Recently Shawnee Local School District in Lima, Ohio, reported that an extensive energy management project with Energy Optimizers, USA, saved more than $394,000 on utility costs from 2014 through 2017. Last fall, ABM’s a customized program for Connellsville Area School District buildings in Pennsylvania is expected to save more than $26.4 million in energy and operating costs over a 15-year period. Lighting upgrades were at the top of the list for that project.
Talking to Energy Manager Today, ABM’s Electrical and Lighting Solutions project developer Rodney Williams said that lighting upgrades provide more than money savings. “There are huge benefits: uniformity throughout the district, the lower number of hours spent on servicing, areas that won’t be down as a result of outages, having even lighting across all the classrooms, the ability to maintain inboard and outboard switching.”
The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.