North Carolina Schools to Cut $5 Million in Energy Costs

By SCN Staff

LEXINGTON, N.C.—Lexington City Schools recently announced the beginning of a construction project with Schneider Electric that consists of several components including HVAC and LED lighting improvements to enhance comfort in learning environments and the implementation of STEM learning programs.

The project—which is being is financed through a guaranteed energy savings performance contract—is expected to save the school district more than $5 million in energy costs over the next 19 years.

Due to budget constraints, Lexington City Schools was facing deferred maintenance challenges that caused heating and cooling equipment across the district to fail.

The project will tackle specific issues the district is facing through the implementation of a new chiller at South Lexington that will be properly sized to cool the entire school, as well as five new boilers and a new cooling tower. The project also includes LED lighting upgrades, in addition to a building automation system upgrade, that gives staff the ability to better maintain the temperatures inside their classrooms.

“Providing our students and teachers with facilities they love coming to is at the top of our priority list,” said Dr. Anitra Wells, superintendent, Lexington City Schools, in a statement.

“We’re excited to kick off this partnership with Schneider Electric, which has been instrumental in improving facilities across the state.”

The savings and the broader partnership will also be leveraged to integrate unique STEM learning opportunities into Lexington City Schools through a variety of programs including:

  • A behavioral rewards program called Volt Patrol that allows students to monitor power consumption in the school by ensuring lights, computers and more are turned off when they are not in use;
  • Sustainable food growth at Southwest Elementary School’s renovated greenhouse. The food grown in the greenhouse will be used in culinary arts classes at the high school;
  • A solar picnic table for computer and tablet charging and;
  • Job shadowing for high school students with Schneider Electric employees.

“We’re always looking for ways to meet our clients’ needs outside of the traditional infrastructure upgrades, so we have created some really unique experiences we’re bringing to the district to increase STEM awareness,” said Schneider Electric Account Executive Graham Lewis in a statement.

“We’re happy to be welcomed into the Lexington City Schools family and work with students and administrators to help them achieve their goals.”