FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
CONTACT: ALANA JUTEAU
Congresswoman Matsui and SMUD deliver $2.35 million to Sacramento and Elk Grove school districts
Federal grant adds to the nearly $2 million SMUD has provided to local schools to save energy and money
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-05) announced that the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is providing $2.35 million in matching funding for school district-wide energy management systems that will deliver significant energy savings to the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) and Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD). Championed by Congresswoman Matsui, the funds are part of the Smart Grid Infrastructure Investment Grant awarded to SMUD to build a comprehensive smart grid that will integrate all aspects of the SMUD electrical grid making it more efficient, responsive and customer-engaged.
The energy management system at SCUSD will tie all electrical equipment for 26 district campuses to one central control. The system at EGUSD will centrally integrate electrical equipment for 10 school sites. Both systems will utilize cutting-edge software and feature a graphical user interface for facilities managers to easily customize and set heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and other equipment to deliver maximum savings to the school districts. Campuses will use the minimum amount of power in the off-hours and off-months when schools and other buildings are closed for summer vacation and other extended holiday breaks.
“At a time when school budgets are strained, this equipment will deliver real savings through energy conservation with very little effort on the school districts’ part,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “As our economy continues its recovery, this investment, made possible by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, will put these school districts on better financial footing moving forward.”
The energy management systems are also grid-tied and will allow SMUD and the school districts to collaborate by strategically automating and enabling power to be cut back to certain equipment like air conditioners by raising thermostat temperature set points for short periods, as an example. This helps to save the community energy during peak hours, such as summer afternoons, when power is most expensive for SMUD to buy, as well as during other times of the year.
For SMUD, working with school districts in the SMUD service territory has been a long-term commitment. In addition to the smart grid grant funding, SMUD has provided more than $524,000 to SCUSD and more than $405,000 to EGUSD in incentives for energy saving technologies. For more than a decade, SMUD has been involved with helping local schools advance sustainable energy practices as well as deliver innovative learning partnerships, providing more than $1.8 million to school districts throughout Sacramento County to help them save energy and money.
SMUD has built very strategic and productive relationships with school officials over the years. These relationships have resulted in more than 37 million kilowatt-hours saved, enough to power more than 3,200 homes for an entire year. The environmental benefit is represented by eliminating more than 25,500 metric tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to removing about 5,000 passenger cars from the road or planting nearly 700,000 trees.
John DiStasio, SMUD General Manager and CEO said, “After developing the relationships, we were successful in engaging key school district leaders to participate in our programs and provided advice on how they could use these programs to reduce their operating costs while improving their learning environments and overall energy efficiency.”
Sacramento City Unified School District and Elk Grove Unified School District are both long-term school district partners in implementing SMUD energy-saving measures. Since 2006, SMUD has helped SCUSD install prescriptive lighting and improve the lighting systems at several school sites. In 2008, SMUD helped SCUSD install energy-saving PC management software and energy-efficient cooling equipment. In 2010, SMUD helped the school district upgrade the lighting systems in 50 of their campuses. As a result of this nearly $700,000 project, the school district reduced its electric demand by over 350 kilowatts, and nearly 1.7 million kilowatt hours, and earned SCUSD energy efficiency incentives from SMUD of more than $250,000.
Since 2002, SMUD has helped EGUSD make new buildings and existing school renovations as energy efficient as possible through SMUD’s Savings by Design program. In 2008, EGUSD utilized energy-saving PC management software. A year later, SMUD helped the school district implement a comprehensive behavioral modification program designed to improve energy efficiency. In just two years EGUSD reduced its energy use by over 13 million kilowatt hours. EGUSD also installed prescriptive lighting and is in the process of replacing older chiller systems and HVAC units with more efficient technologies.
The environmental benefits for both school districts’ efforts are significant: Combined emissions reductions by both EGUSD and SCUSD total more than 7,000 metric tons of CO2, equivalent to removing about 1400 passenger cars from the road or planting nearly 180,000 trees. It is also enough energy to power more than 800 homes for one year.