Schools pleased with energy saving program

By Angie Barmer

Officials with the New Albany School District are already seeing increased energy savings in the schools with the completion of the Energy Savings Performance Contract with Schneider Electric.

Suzanne Coffey, director of accounting services, said that the district has already noticed significant energy savings.

“From July 2012 to Jan. 2013, the energy bill for the district was approximately $188,000.  However, from July 2013 to Jan. 2014, the energy bill was approximately $166,000. Oct. 1, 2013 was the official start date for tracking energy savings with Schneider Electric, but we saw immediate savings,” said Coffey.

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, recently announced the completion of a $2.8 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC) with the New Albany School District in New Albany and with the Holly Springs School District in Holly Springs. The two projects span 12 facilities and incorporate dozens of efficiency upgrades, including HVAC, lighting, and IT retrofits, saving the New Albany and Holly Springs districts more than $2.4 million in energy costs over the 15-year partnership.

“The projects we facilitated for the Mississippi school districts are great success stories, and we hope they pave the way for future projects with other districts in the state who are looking to be more energy efficient, so they can reallocate funds to support much needed educational initiatives,” said Tammy Fulop, vice president of sales, Energy and Sustainability Services at Schneider Electric.

With approval from the Mississippi Development Authority, the New Albany ESPC, completed in October, sought to provide a better learning environment for the district’s students, while making critical efficiency improvements without raising taxes. The project with Schneider Electric included upgrades to six facilities, with a majority of the work focused on the district’s middle and high schools. Highlights include:

  • Installation of a new district-wide energy management system (EMS), which included 147 new thermostats and 12 new temperature sensors
  • Replacement of the aging boiler system in the middle and high schools with 17 new rooftop units, Added roof support where required to support the weight of the new equipment
  • Addition of two new duct heaters in the high school auditorium
  • Installation of a new water source pumping system in the middle school
  • Implementation of an IT power management system across the district’s facilities
  • New zone duct work to classrooms and cafeteria
  • Installation of 22 new valves on current water loop system at the middle school
  • Addition of one condensing unit to serve four indoor cooling units which will provide more effective cooling in the high school offices
  • Addition window tinting to office windows to help regulate temperature
  • Installation of freezer monitors and alarms to help prevent food loss and eliminate the need for staff to physically monitor equipment
  • PC power-save district-wide to save energy when computers are not in use
  • Replacement and retrofitted over 2,560 fixtures district-wide


In total, the New Albany School District is not only projected to save more than $1 million in annual energy costs, but the environmental impact of these upgrades is the equivalent to taking 414 cars off the road or planting 1,985 trees.

“We are tremendously pleased with the upgrades to the New Albany School District’s facilities, which were so needed to ensure the sustainability of the district and the quality of the learning environment we provide our children,” said Jackie Ford, superintendent of the New Albany School District. “This partnership has served as a starting point for future efficiency projects with Schneider Electric, and we look forward to working with them again.”