The Jurupa Unified School District has been working to reduce the District’s carbon footprint and to be good stewards of the environment. In addition, as part of our cost saving measures, we implemented an Energy Management Program and are working on a Solar-based Capital Improvements and Equipment Replacement Project. The District took a bi-phase approach to the plan.
The first phase of the District’s approach included several projects. A weather based irrigation control system was installed District-wide. This system is centrally controlled at the District’s Maintenance Facility. It automatically monitors weather conditions and then adjusts the amount of water disbursed and the length of time that landscapes are watered. The system also has the ability to prevent watering during the rainy season. Programmable thermostats were also installed throughout the District. The thermostats are programmed and run through the District’s Solydine system. This system is also centrally controlled at the District’s Maintenance Facility. The system turns the HVAC system on prior to the start of the school and work day, maintains room temperatures at 74 degrees, and then turns the system off at the end of the school and work day. By centrally programming and operating the District’s HVAC system, we can ensure that the climate is optimal for learning while saving energy and financial resources at the same time. In addition to the above projects, the District also contracted with Energy Education and hired a full time Energy Manager. Energy Education works with the District’s Energy Manager to monitor utility rates and usage and to maximize the District’s savings through energy efficient rebates and programs. Energy Education has also provided education and training to empower District staff with positive resources and cost avoidance measures.
The second phase of the District’s approach focuses on the use of Solar Energy and equipment replacement. In June of 2010, the Board of Education awarded a contract to Chevron Energy Solutions Company. Chevron has conducted a thorough review of all District campuses and facilities and also reviewed the District’s utility bills. Based on their review, Chevron is recommending that the District and Chevron focus on energy efficient lighting upgrades, energy efficient HVAC system upgrades, and solar projects at selected sites. 2.72 megawatts of solar (10,878 panels) will be installed at nine District sites. The solar panels will be installed in the form of shade canopies and will cover 1,000 parking stalls. The solar panels will generate 27% of the District’s electrical power. 400 HVAC package units will be replaced with new energy efficient units. The new units will replace 29% of the District’s HVAC units and will replace units that are in excess of 20 years old. In addition to replacing HVAC units, new HVAC units will be installed at the Rubidoux and Jurupa Valley High School gymnasiums and a package roof-top variable air volume multi-zone unit at Jurupa Valley High School. 21,900 Lighting fixtures (88% of all Fixtures) will be retrofitted and replaced with new energy efficient fixtures.
With the solar shade canopies, replacement HVAC units and energy efficient lighting upgrades, the District will save 42% on our utility bills; we will reduce our electrical consumption by 2.6 million kilowatts and will generate 3.9 million kilowatts. This equates to a reduction of 4,500 metric tons carbon which is equivalent to the amount produced by 550 homes or 900 cars. The District is eligible for $3,440,000.00 in incentives, rebates and grants that will be used to fund this project. The District received $2.9 million dollars in solar incentives from Southern California Edison. In addition, we are eligible for $1.8 million dollars in renewable energy credits. This project will be financed over a 15 year term at a 4% interest rate, in the amount of $26.8 million dollars. Over the 15 year term, the program will generate a positive cash flow of $35.6 million dollars, thus paying for itself and generating additional revenue for the District while allowing us to reduce our carbon footprint, be good stewards of the environment and while educating our students on the importance of cutting edge technology, maximizing resources and environmental awareness.