Green Schools

Santa Paula USD to Save $4 Million with Energy Upgrades

The Santa Paula Unified School District is undertaking upgrades that are estimated to save the district nearly $4 million over the course of the project.

The district partnered with Schneider Electric, which performed a facility energy audit and made several recommendations, including:

  • LED lighting upgrades far the gym and exterior areas to reduce maintenance and improve safety;
  • Adoption of a building automation system across the entire district to prevent issues with heating and cooling and to allow staff to track operations from anywhere; and
  • Replacement of heat pumps.

Partial funding for the project came from a $1.1 million grant launched by California's Proposition 39 Clean Energy Jobs Act, which provides approximately $550 million "to improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation in schools," according to information on the Prop 39 page. Another $2.7 million was provided by the district itself, via an energy savings contract that offsets the cost of the upgrades with future operational and utility cost savings.

"The Prop 39 initiative provided a perfect opportunity for the Santa Paula USD to tackle some of our most critical facility priorities without burdening our budget or borrowing capacity," said Donna Rose, assistant superintendent in the business services division of the district, in a prepared statement. "We are extremely happy to partner with an energy expert like Schneider Electric to prepare our facilities for the future and ensure optimal learning environments for our students and teachers for generations to come."

"Prop 39 remains an important funding source for school districts throughout California to make significant facility improvements that let students maximize their full potential," said Kathleen Neff, CA K-12 account executive at Schneider Electric, in a news release. "We're proud to help the Santa Paula USD accomplish its modernization goals in a fiscally responsible way by aligning with the overall mission of the district and vision of its leaders to make the most of their funding."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].