The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of School Planning & Management magazine.

California District Granted $4.7 Million for Prop 39 Energy Efficiency Upgrade Projects

Dallas, Texas — Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, today announced Vista Unified School District became the third of San Diego County’s 42 school districts to have its Proposition 39 Energy Expenditure Plan approved by the California Energy Commission. Vista Unified School District will receive $4.7 million* that will be used for a variety of energy efficiency retrofits including heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) replacements, programmable thermostats, computer power management, and LED exterior lighting and controls.

The project will also have the greatest impact on the District’s facilities, spanning 27 school sites – more than any other approved Energy Expenditure Plan statewide. When fully implemented, these energy efficiency measures will deliver more than 2.3 million kWh in energy savings.

"We are grateful that Vista Unified School District will be able to utilize these resources to improve the quality of our facilities while also improving energy efficiency,” said Vista Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Business Donna Caperton. “Without the heavy lifting and guidance of Schneider Electric, it would be difficult to get these projects off the ground. The savings we expect to realize through the approved plan will help us achieve our vision to be the model of educational excellence and innovation."

“We understand that the intricacy of Proposition 39 can be daunting; this complexity combined with resource constrained school districts is leading to the Proposition 39 opportunity being underleveraged by California school districts. That’s where we come in to provide a variety of resources, services and energy expertise to assist school districts with their sustainability goals,” said Jordan Lerner, Regional Director, Schneider Electric. “We go beyond sustainability goals and help districts expedite the completion and approval of their Energy Expenditure Plans.”

Like many school districts in California, Vista Unified School District has addressed several small-scale energy projects over the years. Now, through Proposition 39 funding, Vista Unified School District can make significant energy efficiency upgrades by replacing old and inefficient heating and air-conditioning equipment as well as better controlling how that equipment is operated. The plans will also improve exterior lighting and save the district money by allowing them to better manage information technology equipment. By taking a more holistic, strategic look at their energy efficiency ecosystem, Vista Unified School District will be able to realize significant energy savings, which can then be reinvested into enhancing students’ education experience.

For the 2013-14 school years, the California Department of Education has allocated a total of $29 million in Proposition 39 funds to San Diego’s 42 school districts and charter schools. Of that, $11 million has already been made available to school districts for planning expenditures, which include the hiring of Energy Managers and completion of facility audits. Statewide, the Energy Commission has received a total of 117 Proposition 39 Energy Expenditure Plans, of which Vista Unified School District becomes the 55th approved as of July 29.

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