ONEONTA, Ala. – February 16, 2018 – Blount County Schools, located just north of Birmingham, Ala., today announced a partnership with energy and sustainability expert Schneider Electric to dramatically improve energy efficiency at its 20 facilities. Schneider Electric will implement a wide range of infrastructure improvements to help the district transform the learning environment for students, faculty and staff. In total, the project will generate $14.6 million in energy and operational savings.
“Modernizing our schools has been a priority for many years, but with limited funding, we have not been able to make this dream a reality,” said Rodney Green, Superintendent, Blount County Schools. “We are thrilled to be working with Schneider Electric, a trusted resource and partner in Alabama K-12 education. Through this project, we will be able to gain invaluable insights into our energy usage and completely transform our facilities, creating the 21st century learning environment our students deserve.”
The project is being financed through an energy savings performance contract (ESPC), where utility and operational savings are used to help fund the renovations. Savings will come from a wide variety of measures that improve energy efficiency and enhance the learning environment, including:
- Brightening classrooms with interior LED lighting and controls
- Improving campus safety at night with exterior LED lighting
- Enhancing communication with the installation of a district-wide VoIP telecommunications system
- Saving water with new water-reduction technologies at multiple facilities
- Modernizing HVAC and improving building comfort at multiple facilities with hundreds of material replacements
- Saving energy and improving comfort with the extensive sealing of windows, doors, gaps and cracks across all buildingsStreamlining operations with a new district-wide building automation system, which will ease the burden on maintenance staff who previously had to drive between the district’s widespread facilities to monitor equipment
- Replacing the boiler system at Susan Moore High School with a new variant refrigerator flow system
- Replacing the roof and HVAC systems at Hayden Primary School
“Like other schools in Alabama and across the country, Blount County Schools faced an all-too-common dilemma: it was over-spending on utilities and needed to address critical infrastructure needs without placing a burden on local taxpayers,” said Tammy Fulop, Vice President, Schneider Electric. “We’re proud to help the district accomplish its goals by reinvesting current expenditures into facility renewal.”
In addition to the facilities improvements, the project will make a significant environmental impact by removing nearly 6,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, which is equivalent to removing 1,275 cars from the road or powering 643 homes for one year.
The project builds on Schneider Electric’s expertise in energy efficiency projects in Alabama, implementing over $230 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 Blount County Schools, Schneider Electric has partnered with a quarter of all school districts in the state including Gadsden City Schools, Etowah 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.
For more information on how Schneider Electric helps K-12 schools tackle energy efficiency, please visit www.schneider-electric.us/enable or contact your local Schneider Electric representative.