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Lowndes County Schools Transform District Infrastructure

Mississippi-based Lowndes County Schools has received a $115,000 rebate check from the TVA EnergyRight Program, one of the largest check presentations in the state of Mississippi, for its energy conservation project to reinvest over $7.5 million in energy costs back into the classroom.

Lowndes County Schools, in partnership with energy and sustainability expert Schneider Electric, modernized more than 14,000 dated facility infrastructure components using smart technology to improve its energy efficiency efforts and generate additional cost savings across the district.

“Lowndes County is experiencing an influx of growth across our district; one that we are very excited about but also poses infrastructure challenges to our learning environments. To meet the needs of our growing district, it’s important to us to invest into 21st century facilities that serve our current student body and future generations to come,” said Lynn Wright, superintendent, Lowndes County Schools.

“With Schneider Electric as a trusted resource throughout this project, our ability to reinvest savings back into our schools’ infrastructure improvements helped us quickly scale as a ‘smart’ district through web-enabled, smart technology that offered more comfortable, modern facilities across our 14 campuses.”

Getting smart with smart technology

The Lowndes County Schools project was completed in partnership with Schneider Electric who helped the district reinvest over $7.5 million in savings from utility costs to fund infrastructure upgrades and transformational changes throughout the district. This includes:

  • Installed 10,000 LED interior and exterior lighting fixtures to brighten classrooms and walkways for better safety inside and outside of school buildings. Lighting controls were added to provide additional savings and safety features by only lighting up areas when in use.
  • Districtwide building automation system to manage air humidity to create a more comfortable learning environment across more than 400 HVAC units.
  • Replaced antiquated HVAC at several schools to improve comfort and reliability.
  • Web-based irrigation control system with flow sensors to manage water football fields and early detection of leaks.

Unique to the energy conversation project, Lowndes County Schools also identified a significant cost was overwatering its football fields with an estimated $21,000 in overwatering expenses. As a sports-driven district, football fields are a prized possession across the district with schools relying on each school to maintain the overall presentation and maintenance of its football fields. Lowndes County Schools implemented a centralized, web-enabled smart irrigation system that can be monitored remotely to simplify watering and provide early detection of leaks, leading to significant cost savings.

 “Lowndes County Schools’ strategic reinvestment into its infrastructure updates is a great model of how a district can convert liabilities into assets that offer energy and cost savings,” said Tammy Fulup, vice president, Schneider Electric. “The district is deserving of the $115,000 rebate offered by the TVA EnergyRight Program for its exemplary stewardship to cut costs and preserve energy across its district.”

The environmental impact of the project is also significant. Once completed, this project will provide energy efficiency savings equivalent to removing 405 cars from the road per year, planting 49,033 new trees or removing over 1,892 tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.