Lawton, Okla., Schools Invest $2.2 Million in Energy Efficiency

The Lawton (Okla.) Public Schools in Lawton are implementing $2.2 million in facility enhancements designed to improve operations, comfort and efficiency at five campuses totaling nearly 900,000 square feet. Schneider Electric will complete the work as a performance contract with the district.

The Lawton Public Schools in Lawton, Okla., are implementing $2.2 million in facility enhancements designed to improve operations, comfort and efficiency at five campuses totaling nearly 900,000 square feet. Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, will complete the work as a performance contract with the district. Schneider Electric guarantees that the Lawton Public Schools will reduce its utility costs by $254,854 annually when the project is completed in the summer of 2010.

The Lawton Public Schools has 35 campuses to serve this southwestern Oklahoma community with a population of 92,000. Faced with increasing utility costs, the district began to look at a means to update its aging facilities.

"The average age of our buildings is approximately 40 years, so facilities are in need of infrastructure improvements to bring them up to date," said Barry Beauchamp, superintendent of schools. "Performance contracting was the best solution for the district, because it offered a direct investment into facilities using money we were spending on utilities, which frees capital for other projects, and the guarantee eliminates the financial risk. Because Schneider Electric manages the work turnkey, there is little additional strain on our maintenance staff. Finally, we set an example of environmental stewardship for the community."

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. Schneider Electric guarantees the amount of savings performance contracting projects will achieve and agrees to pay the difference if that amount is not realized.

The Lawton school facilities contained aging automation systems with limited climate control or energy management capabilities. Schneider Electric will install a new direct digital control energy management system for efficient and reliable control of the facilities. A lighting upgrade, including gym high bay conversions in the five facilities, will both improve illumination and save energy. Schneider Electric will work against a deadline so the district will qualify for a $63,000 rebate from the local electric provider.

The Lawton schools performance contract will produce a positive environmental outcome for the community as well. The reduction in energy use will avoid 5.8 million pounds of C02 pollution, 50,000 pounds of S02 pollution, and 21,000 pounds of N0x pollution. The benefits to air quality are equivalent to planting more than 365,000 trees across 700 acres or taking 653 cars off the roads every year.

"Students and faculty at the Lawton Public Schools will enjoy a better learning and working environment when these facility updates are completed," said Shon Anderson, vice president, sales, Energy Solutions group of Schneider Electric. "Through performance contracting, the district is able to make these significant infrastructure upgrades using the money it was spending on utilities. Furthermore, the community benefits from a greener, more environmentally sustainable school system."

About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, security, and data centers/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. 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, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations "Make the most of their energy."

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