Chambers County Schools in Lafayette, Alabama, reached a $500,000 savings milestone from a facilities improvement project with Schneider Electric that began in 2015. The school district project involved a comprehensive energy audit and a customized energy efficiency plan from Schneider Electric.
Prior to this project, the company says that Chambers County Schools struggled with a lengthy list of deferred maintenance challenges, which included equipment failures and outdated technology. An energy savings performance contract (ESPC), which uses projected utility savings to pay for infrastructure improvements, funded the project and allowed the school district to take on deferred maintenance projects without having to raise local taxes.
Savings to date have come from measures to improve energy efficiency such as:
- Using the latest lighting and controls to brighten classrooms, hallways, gyms, and outdoor spaces
- Streamlining operations with a new district-wide building automation system
- Reducing water waste with retrofits to existing systems
- IT server virtualization to improve staff productivity
- Computer power management and mechanical modifications at select buildings
- Window replacements at six schools
Schneider Electric estimates that, in addition to the facilities improvements, this project has saved more than 2,000,000 kWh since its commencement. The company has undertaken energy efficiency projects for more than 40 clients in Alabama, and has helped public entities in the state secure more than $60 million energy-related grants and rebates.
A quarter of Alabama’s school districts have formed partnerships with Schneider Electric, the company says. That includes Gadsden City Schools, Etowah County Schools, Marshall County Schools, and recently Blount County Schools. The partnership with Blount County Schools, detailed last month by Energy Manager Today, is expected to generate $14.6 million in energy and operational savings.
Marcus Craig, regional sales director for the southeast at Schneider Electric told Energy Manager Today that these partnerships in Alabama help clients modernize their facilities, generate revenue, and prepare for the future.
“Many of our clients work with us long-term to tackle their capital reinvestment projects,” he said. “It’s a smart, fiscally responsible way to support infrastructure planning.”
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