Calif. school district saves thousands with HVAC upgrades
More than 200 new Carrier rooftop units improve comfort and efficiency at 45 sites in California’s Fontana School District. Photo courtesy of Carrier
The Fontana Unified School District has saved – and continues to save –thousands of dollars in energy costs annually while improving the classroom environment.
That’s thanks to Carrier's installation of 201 high-efficiency WeatherExpert 48/50LC rooftop units (RTUs) at four different schools, according to a release. With the project at the midway point, the district has saved approximately $210,000 in energy costs – an amount that's expected to double when another 200 rooftop systems are installed next summer, officials said.
Carrier is a world leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions.
"Not only were we able to improve the environment for thousands of students and their teachers, but these systems are also saving the school district money, which it plans to reallocate to academics," said Chris Opie, director of North America commercial marketing for Carrier.
The project's success has already been recognized with a national award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Alliance's Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign (ARC).
Before the project began, Fontana school administrators faced a challenge shared by many school districts with aging rooftop air-conditioning units and control systems near the end of their useful life.
"We spent a lot of time visiting classrooms trying to figure out how to cool them down during the hottest times of the year," said Robert Copeland, director of Fontana Unified School District’s maintenance and operations division. "It was not an ideal classroom environment for our students."
School systems can struggle to secure the funding to cover such a comprehensive climate control upgrade. The California Clean Energy Jobs Act, commonly known as Proposition 39, allocates funds to improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation in schools, according to the California Energy Commission website.
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