Ala. school district tops $500,000 in energy savings

A partnership between energy and sustainability expert Schneider Electric and Chambers County Schools in Lafayette, Ala., that aimed to trim the district’s energy expenses has topped $500,000.

The milestone resulted from a comprehensive facilities improvement project, according to a release.

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.

“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 of Chambers County Schools.  

For many years, Chambers County Schools struggled with a growing list of deferred maintenance challenges, including equipment failures and outdated technology. To address the 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.

In addition to the facilities improvements, the project delivers a significant environmental impact, with more than 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 more than $250 million in energy efficiency projects for more than 40 clients and helping public entities secure more than $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.


Topics: Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Educational Buildings, Energy Audit / Energy Management, Energy Saving Products, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design

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