Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District and Syserco have been partners for over 20 years, installing Alerton Energy Management and Control systems at over 30 sites. For decades, portable, modular classrooms presented challenges to the District due to inefficient HVAC and lighting systems and their remote location from school campuses’ permanent structures. This isolation often resulted in portable classrooms running continuously throughout nights and weekends causing excessive utility bills and complaints from the community about noise and waste. Furthermore, many schools either had no central building automation system, or had legacy systems that had been installed decades earlier and were rapidly facing breakdown and obsolescence.
Considering the long-term partnership and Syserco’s understanding of energy conservation measures and third-party funding options, the District turned to Syserco to develop and implement a self-funding project that would address the District’s energy and operational challenges.
Fifteen elementary, four middle, four high schools, and two district office sites participated in this energy project. Each school was unique, ranging from basic classroom and administrative “wing structures”, to large gyms and auditoriums, to portable, modular classrooms. The HVAC systems at the schools were varied, ranging from single zone ACUs and heat pumps to larger mixed air systems and central boiler systems. Lighting systems ranged from T12 to T8 with multiple lighting control methodologies.
Under this program Syserco provided the relamping of 9 schools, the installation of new HVAC and lighting control in 300 classrooms and the upgrade of multiple legacy systems. All improvements were integrated into the existing Alerton building automation system to provide Web-based access for system operators. The major strides the District took in energy conservation and efficiency were then shared with the school community via a Web-accessible energy dashboard.
This implemented project now returns over $110,000 per year to the District General Fund via energy cost avoidance, while simultaneously improving the learning environment in over 300 classrooms. Third-party financing was leveraged to fund this installation of upgraded HVAC controls and lighting resulting in a net positive cash flow to the district.