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Crenshaw County Modernizes Schools, Saves $4.2 Million with Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency project frees up funding for an improved student learning environment

Crenshaw County Schools in Luverne, Ala., today announced it has completed construction on a $2.8-million district-wide infrastructure improvement project at its three schools and central office that will generate $4.2 million in energy savings over the next 20 years. The district partnered with Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, to modernize its infrastructure and provide a 21st-century learning environment for students.

“Crenshaw County Schools is committed to providing an educational experience that competes with any district in the state of Alabama. Our partnership with Schneider Electric will allow us to reach our academic goals in an environment that lets students maximize their full potential,” said Dr. Boyd English, superintendent, Crenshaw County School System. “Developing a comprehensive plan to upgrade our facilities at no cost to taxpayers is an enormous win for our community. We are eager to see the positive impact these upgrades will have on our students, faculty, and staff and are proud to call Schneider Electric our partner in utilizing the latest technologies available to provide the best learning experience for our students.”

Crenshaw County Schools had ambitions to enhance its schools but faced a number of challenges due to its aging HVAC and control systems, roofing, and lighting. To help the district reach its goal, Schneider Electric installed multiple energy conservation measures to dramatically improve the learning environment for students and significantly cut energy usage and costs. The infrastructure improvements will reduce the district’s annual utility budget by 31 percent.

The modernization project is being funded by an energy savings performance contract (ESPC), where utility and operational savings are used to finance the renovations with no burden on local taxpayers. Savings will come from a wide variety of energy efficiency measures including:

  • District-wide interior, exterior and gym LED lighting upgrades
  • Occupancy sensors to turn off lights when rooms are vacant, significantly reducing energy use
  • Installation of a district-wide building automation system to automate HVAC operations and increase visibility into energy management
  • Installation of a district-wide voice over IP (VoIP) telecommunications system
  • HVAC replacements and upgrades
  • New thermoplastic poly roofing to address leaking and increase reflectivity
  • Building envelope upgrades to reduce draftiness

In addition to upgrading facilities and improving the learning experience for students, the project will make a significant environmental impact by removing 742 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, which is equivalent to removing 157 cars from the road or planting 1,985 trees.

“We’re proud to have been able to help the Crenshaw County School System accomplish its modernization goals in a fiscally responsible way by aligning with the overall mission of the district and vision of its leaders,” said Tammy Fulop, vice president, Schneider Electric. “Our unique approach enables school districts like Crenshaw County to take money that would have normally been spent on utilities and reinvest it back into its schools to achieve a variety of important goals it might not otherwise be able to afford. Crenshaw County is a shining example of a district that is taking a proactive approach to energy efficiency to build a better future for its students and community.”

This project builds on Schneider Electric’s expertise in advancing school district’s goals with energy efficiency solutions in Alabama. Over the past few years, Schneider Electric has partnered with several nearby districts including Geneva County Schools, Geneva City Schools, Daleville City Schools, Dale County Schools and Henry County Schools to modernize their educational environment without burdening their budget or borrowing capacity. Across the state of Alabama, Schneider Electric has implemented over $169 million in infrastructure improvement projects and helped public entities secure more than $37 million in energy-related grants, rebates, and funding in the past 10 years.

Over the past 23 years, Schneider Electric has successfully implemented more than 625 ESPC projects across the nation, saving its clients $1.6 billion. This project delivery method helps publicly funded entities make capital improvements over longer payback periods and offers many long-term benefits including improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management and environmental protection.