Alabama school district gets 'A' for energy efficiency (and saving money)

Fri, 2015-04-03 06:00 -- SCC Staff

Schneider Electric is taking its experience in energy management and automation to an Alabama school district where it will provide an extensive renovation that will ultimately result in a better environment for students and save the district a lot of money in energy costs.

The contract between Council Lead Partner Schneider Electric and Lawrence County Schools in Moulton, Alabama calls for numerous renovations, upgrades and additions throughout the district’s 19 buildings. Referred to as an energy savings performance contract (ESPC), the project will enable the district to cut energy costs by $430,000 per year, for a 20-year total of $11.7 million.

One of the major benefits for the community is that the contract allows the district to get funding for the project that taxpayers won’t be on the hook for.

The Department of Energy says energy-efficient schools can cut their operating costs by up to 30%. Energy cost savings from the Lawrence County project will come in at 29%, according to Schneider. The Energy Department also noted that many school districts have been unable to do much needed energy upgrades because rising costs of power and the recent economic downturn left no room in budgets to pay for them.

How they’ll do it
The improvements, which Schneider refers to as budget-neutral, include:

  • Building automation district-wide which will offer centralized control
  • Interior and exterior lighting upgrades and renovations
  • An IT enterprise management system, also district-wide, to control the power consumption of 3,700 pieces of equipment
  • Water system upgrades that will reduce consumption by six million gallons
  • A voice over IP telecommunications system throughout the district

“Schneider Electric is a very well-respected company that has worked with numerous school systems throughout the state and country,” commented Lawrence County Schools Superintendent Heath Grimes. “We are glad to enter into this agreement with them that will allow us to realize a large amount of energy savings in the long-term and do some much needed improvements of our schools in the short term.”

The community wins too
In addition to enabling the district to secure funding for the upgrades without tapping taxpayers, the community also will come out ahead in another important way. With the upgrades in place, the district will cut its carbon emissions by 41,000 tons, which Schneider said is the equivalent of the emissions from 8,800 cars.

Related articles…
Report: Schneider Electric and Siemens lead the BEMS market
How technology, Cisco and Schneider Electric will help Alexandria, VA be more resilient