SC School District Saves Millions, Meets Airflow Regulations with Schneider Electric ESPC

A school district in South Carolina will implement a comprehensive infrastructure modernization project that will save the school district more than $28 million in energy costs over the next 20 years. The project is also expected to improve air quality. It will be financed through an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) with Schneider Electric; the school says this will reduce utility and operating costs by 24% over 15 building. Those savings will pay for further upgrades over time.

Richland County School District One was facing deferred maintenance on critical infrastructure in several buildings related to aging lighting and HVAC equipment. The ESPC will allow the district to update HVAC equipment to more efficiently move air, control temperature, and increase outdoor air exchange rates. With indoor environment specifications being rolled out by government organizations, the district is laying the groundwork for better control of how air moves through all facilities and designing more specific and improved points of filtration. The changes will allow the district to be responsive to new regulations, the district says.

Schneider Electric will implement modern technologies that will generate savings and in turn create a revenue stream to help fund improvements across the district, such as:

—Updated HVAC technology for cleaner environments and to regulate fresh outdoor air;
—Interior and exterior lighting upgrades to bring emergency lighting up to current building code standards;
—Replacement and upgrade of critical electrical infrastructure to reduce maintenance time and extend the life of the outdated systems;
—Upgrade and replacement of water and restroom fixtures to further reduce waste;
—Installation of a “smart-plugs” network to manage high-load devices and improve energy efficiency;
—Building envelope improvements to renew aging buildings to better withstand extreme seasonal weather patterns and increase comfort for students and staff.

“This program with Schneider Electric will allow us to make needed upgrades to our buildings in a much smarter, more efficient and most importantly, fiscally responsible way,” says Richland School District One Superintendent, Dr. Craig Witherspoon.

Richland School District One Director of Facility Services, Raymond Perkins says, “These are upgrades being recommended to all school districts, but it can also be costly to do. We have many needs in addition to air quality, so finding a way to bring all these distinct pieces together made all the difference.”

Schneider Electric says that over the past 28 years, it has successfully implemented more than 800 ESPC projects across the nation, saving its clients more than $2.7 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.

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