LA School District Saves $3.5 Million with Energy Efficient Upgrades

Springfield Local School District in Akron, Ohio. Credit: Xin F.

Schneider Electric today announced it has embarked on a comprehensive energy efficiency project with the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District (NLMUSD) in Los Angeles County, California. The project will save the district nearly $170,000 annually, improve the learning environment for students and advance the district’s mission of providing safe, comfortable schools. This project leverages funding secured through the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39), which allows school districts to tackle critical deferred maintenance projects that result in energy savings.

Over the last decade, NLMUSD has struggled to work with and maintain five disparate building automation systems across its 32 facilities. While one system worked well, the others were completely unreliable, causing a slew of issues for building occupants and the district’s maintenance staff. When Proposition 39 funding became available, the district knew it wanted to spend the funding on alleviating its building automation system issues. Schneider Electric worked with the district to install and integrate new building automation systems at seven priority sites and install new exterior LED lighting at the district’s three comprehensive high schools, improving campus energy efficiency and safety.

Most construction was completed during the summer months to minimize the impact on students, faculty and staff. The remaining work will be complete by December 2017.

In addition to annual energy savings, the project will have a positive environmental impact, removing 520 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.

“K-12 schools across the country are facing long lists of unmet deferred maintenance needs as facilities age and school budgets continue to decline,” said Kathleen Neff, CA K-12 Account Executive, Schneider Electric. By securing maximum Proposition 39 funding, the company says it can enable schools to take on needed and long overdue facilities projects.

Schneider Electric has developed highly successful energy efficiency projects for many school districts across California, securing over $65 million in Proposition 39 funding and generating more than $4.4 million in annual energy savings.

Ohio schools have been benefitting from energy efficient upgrade as well. The South Central Local Schools in the state worked with Energy Optimizers, USA on energy efficient upgrades and retrofits in 2013. Those changes have been paying off. Over the past three years, the school district to the southwest of Cleveland has saved more than $104,000 in utility costs, Energy Optimizers, USA announced.

The project involved retrofitting the school district’s lighting systems with lower wattage fluorescents, and making energy efficient upgrades to the kitchens. Prior to 2013, the district was shelling out $127,000 annually for energy, and now annual utility costs are at $101,450, with savings normalized for weather. Electrical consumption for the school district is also down 31.3%, the company reported.

And further south, Monroe County School System in Monroeville, Alabama, is taking on a modernization project that is expected to generate $6.2 million in energy and operational savings, reducing the district’s annual utility budget by 32%.

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