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Infrastructure Overhaul to Reap $15M in Savings for this Pennsylvania Community College

college students at school standing at a booth with a sign reading "go green"

Conservation, renewable energy use and updated infrastructure are anticipated to reap $15 million in savings over 15 years for HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College. The project will modernize HACC’s critical infrastructure with energy-efficient, sustainable technologies and optimize learning environments.

Schneider Electric will address HACC’s maintenance backlog and modernize campus buildings, many of which were built in the 1960s. Improvements will include a comprehensive light-emitting diode (LED) lighting retrofit; heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades; water conservation systems; and building automation. The project started April 1 and will be completed over the next 18 to 24 months.

Funding for the estimated $12.6-million project comes from a Pennsylvania sustainable energy program guaranteed savings agreement with Schneider Electric and is guaranteed to produce more than $13.5 million in energy savings over the next 15 years. HACC will also realize a minimum of $1.6 million in added savings through a solar power purchase agreement.

HACC has tasked Schneider Electric with administering a request for proposals to select a vendor for the solar purchase power agreement. After selection, Schneider Electric will continue to work with HACC to ensure smooth implementation and alignment with the overall facility improvement plans.

“Since funding for capital improvements is usually challenged, this guarantee will afford us an opportunity to make large scale facility improvements that save energy and money without any upfront costs. The implementation of this project addresses the need to modernize our aging infrastructure to create a better learning environment for our HACC community and brings us closer to our long-term sustainability goals,” said HACC President and CEO John J. “Ski” Sygielski, MBA, Ed.D.

HACC was supported in developing and gaining approval of this project by the Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Finance Program (PennSEF), a partnership between the Pennsylvania Treasury Department and the Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment (FREE).

“This is a great project, and both HACC and Schneider Electric deserve to be recognized for their leadership in using conservation and renewable energy to cut costs,” said Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity. “PennSEF projects are a fantastic way for nonprofits and government agencies, including counties, school districts and municipalities, to receive guaranteed savings while conserving energy and water. Treasury’s partnership with FREE to create PennSEF can benefit entities all across Pennsylvania. I hope many others will follow HACC’s lead.”

PennSEF advises interested nonprofit and governmental entities to develop prudent, market-based projects that promote energy and water efficiency, clean energy generation, economic development and environmental improvement. PennSEF provided legal, technical and analytical assistance throughout the planning of the HACC project, using its expertise to support the College’s efforts to realize improvements for its campuses, and helped negotiate a contract that ensures the resulting savings will pay for the total cost of the technology upgrade.

John Byrne, Ph.D., FREE’s president and chairman, applauded HACC’s launch of this triple bottom-line project that:

  • Saves energy and water using technology that will lower College costs for at least 15 years
  • Provides jobs and new business to the region’s economy
  • Proves that environmental improvement and economic development can be compatible policy goals

For more information about HACC, visit For more information about PennSEF, visit For more information about FREE, visit

Access HACC's official press release for this announcement here: