School district will reinvest savings to create a 21st century learning environment
On February 27, 2018, Energy and sustainability expert Schneider Electric announced that Chambers County Schools in Lafayette, Alabama has reached a $500,000 savings milestone resulting from a comprehensive facilities improvement project. Schneider Electric presented a Savings Milestone Award to the Chambers County Schools Board of Education to recognize the district’s strides in energy conservation since the start of the project in 2015.
Representatives from Chambers County Schools and Schneider Electric at the presentation of the Savings Milestone Award on February 21, 2018.
“This savings milestone is a testament to our ongoing initiative to operate in the most fiscally responsible way, allowing us to ensure optimal learning environments without burdening local taxpayers,” said Dr. Kelli Hodge, Superintendent, Chambers County Schools. “We are extremely proud to partner with an expert like Schneider Electric who took the time to understand our needs and has deep experience throughout the state of Alabama.”
For many years, Chambers County Schools struggled with a growing list of deferred maintenance challenges, including equipment failures and outdated technology. To address these issues, the district turned to Schneider Electric to conduct a comprehensive energy audit and develop a customized energy efficiency plan. Savings came from a wide variety of measures that improved energy efficiency and enhanced the learning environment, including:
- Brightening classrooms, hallways, gyms and outdoor spaces with the latest lighting and controls
- Streamlining operations with a new district-wide building automation system
- Reducing water waste with retrofits to existing systems
- Improving staff productivity with IT server virtualization
- Saving energy with computer power management and mechanical modifications at select buildings
- Improving comfort with window replacements at six schools
The project was funded through an energy savings performance contract (ESPC), which uses projected utility savings to pay for infrastructure improvements. This enables cash-strapped school districts to tackle deferred maintenance projects without raising taxes in the local community.
“Chambers County Schools has demonstrated a commitment to ongoing sustainability initiatives, and we are proud to help the district meet its operational goals and take on much-needed infrastructure improvements,” said Tammy Fulop, Vice President, Schneider Electric. “We are committed to helping school districts in Alabama and beyond create best-in-class learning environments while becoming leaders in sustainability.”
In addition to the facilities improvements, the project delivers a significant environmental impact, with over 2,000,000 kWh saved since its commencement, enough energy to power 161 houses for an entire year.
The project builds on Schneider Electric’s expertise in energy efficiency projects in Alabama, having implemented over $250 million in energy efficiency projects for more than 40 clients and helping public entities secure over $60 million in energy-related grants and rebates. In addition to its work with Chambers County Schools, Schneider Electric has partnered with a quarter of all school districts in the state including Gadsden City Schools, Etowah County Schools, Blount County Schools, and Marshall County Schools.
Over the past 25 years, Schneider Electric has successfully implemented more than 675 ESPC projects across the nation, saving 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.