Madison County Schools, Huntsville, AL

Client Overview

Located in State of Alabama, Madison County Schools is rated as one of the top school districts in the State with over 20,000 students and over 30 schools and facilities across the county. Madison County is the 3rd most populated county in Alabama is located approximately 100 miles south of Nashville, TN.

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1. Client Challenge:

As typical with most K-12 facilities, Madison County was looking for ways to improve and maintain existing facilities while reducing operating and maintenance costs. Through the benefits of Performance Contracting, the school district selected a National Energy Service Company to assist them with an ESPC project and RTS was selected to audit and design the lighting opportunities and considerations for the district.

Over 30 elementary, middle, high schools, administrative facilities and maintenance shops, encompassing over 3M square feet, were included in the scope of work. The potential included all interior and exterior lighting. Project development and implementation time was critical as utility rebates were available from Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Designs and drawings had to meet or exceed Alabama Building Commission (ABC) codes and requirements.

2. Lighting Solution:

A district wide lighting retrofit and upgrade was performed by Retro-Tech Systems which covered two (2) project phases. The opportunities provided within the 3,103,000+ sq. ft. included: 1) retrofitting or upgrading to new fixtures the interior lighting from existing T12 or 32 watt T8 to more energy efficient 28 watt T8 lamps and 2nd generation electronic ballast, 2) replacement of existing HID lighting in Gyms to energy efficient T5HO fixtures and controls, 3) replacement of existing incandescent and HID exterior lighting with new LED kits or fixtures, 4) installation of occupancy and daylight controls in office, classrooms, and hallways where applicable and additional energy savings could be obtained, and 5) the installation of exterior egress fixtures, where applicable, to meet the ABC codes and requirements.

3. The Results:

The benefits of the project were significant as the school district upgraded upwards to 36,000 lighting fixtures and installed well over 2,100 controls and/or sensors. The results of the lighting project should provide annual energy savings of over $500,000 and annual maintenance savings exceeding $50,000, for a total calculated operational savings of close to $550,000. This savings allowed the school district to address other improvements needs as part of the Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC).