Central Texas School District Set to Improve Energy Efficiency

The Blanco (Texas) Independent School District is implementing a variety of facility enhancements to improve comfort and efficiency in its schools. TAC by Schneider Electric, will complete the work as a performance contract and guarantees the district save $63,000 in utility costs annually

The Blanco Independent School District (ISD) in Blanco, Texas, is implementing a comprehensive package of facility enhancements designed to improve operations, comfort and efficiency in its elementary, middle and high schools, and administrative facilities. TAC by Schneider Electric, the building management and energy services business of Schneider Electric, will complete the work as a performance contract with the district. TAC guarantees that the Blanco ISD will reduce its utility costs by $63,000 annually when the project is completed in December 2009.

The Blanco ISD serves 986 students in this central Texas community 40 miles west of the state capital of Austin. Faced with high energy usage, old lighting technology and no districtwide energy management system (EMS) to control mechanical equipment in its facilities, the district turned to the TAC for a cost-effective solution.

"Some of our problems were in plain sight, such as the poor and inadequate gym lighting at the elementary and middle schools. In addition, the middle school gym ceiling is unsightly and in poor condition, making it the subject of numerous complaints," said Dr. Buck Ford, superintendent of schools. "Other problems, such as the inability to effectively control and manage energy usage and the ever-increasing utility costs, were less visible but highly detrimental to our district. The performance contracting solution will resolve all these problems without putting new demands on our budget."

Performance contracting offers many long-term benefits for school districts, such as improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management and environmental protection. Typically, new, more efficient equipment and upgraded facility automation systems maximize energy efficiency and generate utility savings. TAC guarantees the amount of savings performance contracting projects will achieve and agrees to pay the difference if that amount is not realized.

TAC will utilize a variety of energy conservation measures (ECMs) to resolve the problems at the Blanco ISD facilities. These include installing a districtwide EMS that will enable the district to control, monitor and troubleshoot all the systems in the district from a single, centrally located workstation. TAC will retrofit lighting at all the facilities, converting T-12 lamps to T-8 and metal halide to high bay fluorescents. This will include new lighting fixtures at the elementary and middle school.

"When the project is completed, the community will immediately notice the change in the school gymnasiums, where the lighting will be substantially improved and the view much more pleasing because of the new fixtures," said Shon Anderson, vice president of sales, TAC Energy Solutions. "But more importantly, the energy-efficient lighting and the EMS will greatly reduce the district's utility expenditures because of the energy savings. Blanco ISD will have made a big step to being a greener district by trading the money they have been spending on utilities for new, efficient equipment and systems."

About TAC
TAC, the building management and energy services business of Schneider Electric, is a leading provider of solutions that deliver business value to customers by enabling them to do more with less energy. With over 120 years of experience in the HVAC, energy and security arenas, TAC employs more than 8,000 people worldwide, with partners in 80 countries. TAC's parent company, Schneider Electric, is the global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, offering integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centers/networks. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company's 114,000 employees achieved sales of more than 18.3 billion euros in 2008. For more information, visit www.tac.com and www.schneider-electric.com.

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