Education: U.S. School District

October 18, 2016 Allison Schweizer

U.S. School District Secures $2.5 Million in Prop 39 Funding

Schneider Electric will implement energy efficiency upgrades across the district’s high schools to reduce energy costs and engage students in new learning opportunities

downloadThe Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) today announced the California Energy Commission’s approval of $2.5 million in grant funding for energy efficiency improvements through the Proposition 39 Clean Energy Jobs Act (Prop 39). CUSD has selected Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, to implement efficiency projects that will save the district $227,000 in annual energy costs and secure $100,000 in energy rebates.

CUSD faced challenges with aging infrastructure and outdated lighting systems in its high school buildings, which led to mounting utility costs. Through the partnership with Schneider Electric, CUSD will execute an energy savings plan that will achieve more than 1 million kWh in annual energy savings and reduce its utility bills by 10 percent. The project involves installing high efficiency LED lighting in six of the district’s high school campuses.

The Schneider Electric team helped CUSD navigate the complex system to secure Prop 39 grant funding and develop a plan to implement the funding to the fullest extent. Prop 39, which made $550 million available annually to improve schools’ energy efficiency and expand clean energy programs, is an important funding source in California.

Group Of High School Students Walking Along Hallway Chatting“The time was right for the Capistrano USD to embark on an energy savings plan because our energy costs were escalating and the advent of Prop 39 funding gave us the opportunity to pay for critical projects without taking resources from our classrooms,” said CUSD Board President, Amy Hanacek. “We’re delighted to kick off this project and create more energy efficient spaces that will also create compelling learning opportunities for students.”

The energy efficiency project will offer CUSD students hands-on exposure to energy engineering and sustainable energy management, supporting the district’s commitment to STEM and STEAM curriculum. Students will be involved in the auditing, monitoring, and measurement and verification of electricity usage as an educational tool to establish innovation at every level within the school system. CUSD will also use Schneider Electric’s Resource Advisor software platform to measure and analyze energy spend, connecting energy data to analytics to guide decisions around energy use. Using Resource Advisor, district staff and students will be able to see energy use in real-time, determining where high energy use occurs and where energy reduction measures can be implemented.

RA_PAM_1“We’re excited to help the Capistrano USD join many other California schools in leveraging Prop 39 funding to meet their energy savings goals,” said Tammy Fulop, Vice President, Schneider Electric. “At Schneider Electric, we take great pride in helping schools maximize their Prop 39 allocation to drive significant energy savings that can be reinvested into educational programs. The added component of involving students in learning about energy management is a unique and exciting part of the CUSD project which will help create the next generation of energy leaders.”

In addition to annual energy savings, the project will also have a substantial environmental impact, removing 261 metric tons of CO2 from the
atmosphere, which is equivalent to removing 56 cars from the road or planting 10,442 acres of trees.

Over the past 23 years, Schneider Electric has successfully implemented more than 575 ESPC projects across the nation, savings its clients nearly $2 billion. This project delivery method helps publicly funded entities make capital improvements over longer payback periods and offers many long-term benefits such as improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management and environmental protection.

For more information on Schneider Electric’s approach to performance contracting, please visit


Capistrano USD is launching a new energy initiative with the goal of providing a world-class educational environment that offers students exciting opportunities to learn about energy use and conservation.

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