ton reduction in CO2 emissions
gallons of gasoline saved
Located in Southern California, the Fontana Unified School District educates 41,142 kindergartens through 12th-grade students in 45 schools. Just 50 miles east of Los Angeles, in the heart of San Bernadino County, the school district prides itself on educating their diverse population and has an 87 percent graduation rate.
Despite the school district tackling poverty (about 83 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch) and has a 96 percent daily attendance for all learners. More than 30 percent of the students are non-native English language speakers, which the progressive school district tries to combat with early education programs and adult classes for parents and other residents.
The K-12 district partnered with Centrica Business Solutions to complete an energy systems optimization project that included new rooftop air conditioning units funded through a California State incentive program, Proposition 39.
The district’s portfolio of antiquated and inefficient rooftop air conditioning units and control systems were at the end of their useful life, causing the district to invest a significant amount of time and capital in maintaining and operating them. Additionally, the old rooftop units (RTUs) were unable to maintain temperature and humidity levels within the buildings, resulting in uneven temperatures, occupant discomfort, and unnecessary overuse of the units. Also, the control system did not support software updates, adding inefficiencies and a suboptimal control system to the mix.
These challenges were amplified due to:
To reduce costs associated with operating and maintaining the cooling systems, stabilizing temperatures throughout the schools, 210 rooftop units were installed on 30 buildings, along with controls:
The project has resulted in optimal educational environments for all users. For that, the Department of Energy awarded the district an A and named it a DOE RTU Challenge Winner. Additionally, the annual energy savings of 2.49 million kWh achieved equate to 199,000 gallons of gasoline saved and 133 cars removed from the road and represent the equivalent of planting 2,165 acres of trees.
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