Skip to main content

Charter Oak School District Brings Efficiency to Life

The second phase of the district's energy efficiency project with Schneider Electric will provide much-needed enhancements to kitchen appliances to prevent food spoilage.

Charter Oak Unified School District (COUSD), located just outside of metropolitan Los Angeles, has announced the kickoff of phase two of an energy efficiency project with Schneider Electric. This phase will provide much needed upgrades to the kitchen temperature controls and buildings automation systems (BAS) and comes on the heels of a successful lighting implementation that was part of phase one.

Prior to working with Schneider Electric, COUSD faced challenges with deferred maintenance and minimal funding for infrastructure improvements. For more than a decade, the maintenance team has been tasked with maintaining an outdated controls system. The control systems in kitchens have been unreliable and kitchen staff were seeing a large amount of food spoilage because of outdated temperature sensors and burnt out lamps. Additionally, due to the age of the systems many of the spare parts for replacement or updating are no longer available. The school district turned to Schneider Electric for a solution to rectify these issues and provide round the clock monitoring of controls.

“Working with Schneider Electric is giving us the confidence we need to have fully operational facilities that can ensure efficiency and safety for our faculty and students,” said Dr. Mike Hendricks, superintendent of COUSD. “Having a partner with this level of experience can give us a near guarantee our facilities meet the expectations of our community, now and in the future. We’re excited to kick off the second phase of this project with its team after a successful first phase.”

As part of the first phase, the school district received updated exterior lighting for a football field, parking lots and other building exteriors. These upgrades were well received by the community who frequently use the football field for local games.

During the second phase, Schneider Electric will be making improvements to control systems in the kitchens and BAS. Specifically, the schools will receive:

  • New temperature sensors for walk-in freezers and walk-in refrigerators across the school district to avoid costly food spoilage and waste.

  • Connections from the temperature systems to the existing BAS.

  • Remote messaging alerts via email or SMS text from the BAS if a refrigerator or freezer temperatures rise above a preset value for a predetermined amount of time.

“COUSD is facing similar challenges to schools across the country and is taking action. The district is transforming its practices through sustainable initiatives, in turn providing better facilities for its faculty and staff, while being as environmentally friendly as possible,” said Tammy Fulop, vice president, Schneider Electric. “It is apparent COUSD is passionate about providing its community with the best facilities available, and we are thrilled to build on the outcome of our exterior lighting project, to take on this next phase.”

In addition to the facilities improvements, the project will make a significant environmental impact by saving 744,162 kWh, which is equivalent to removing 96 cars from the road.

Visit our site for more information on how Schneider Electric helps K-12 schools tackle energy efficiency.