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By Allison Jarrell

The Capistrano Unified School District’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously this week to approve a contract and energy conservation program for the district’s six high schools. The program’s first phase includes a lighting retrofit of the schools, which will begin later this fall.

The board held a public hearing on Wednesday and voted unanimously to approve an energy services contract with Schneider Electric, the district’s Prop 39 partner. Schneider Electric submitted an energy expenditure plan to the state back in June, which was approved later that month. The approved application resulted in the district receiving $2.49 million in funding, which will be used for a mostly external lighting retrofit of the district’s highest-cost centers—its high schools.

Marc Starkey of Schneider Electric said the company’s objectives for the program are to optimize and maximize the district’s Prop 39 funding, improve the learning environment and redirect as much of the district’s utility dollars back into the classroom as possible. He told the board that the external LED retrofit of the high schools will yield $227,000 in annual energy savings, or about 1.18 million kilowatt hours of energy—the equivalent of 261 tons of greenhouse gases.

Starkey said installation of external LED lighting will begin at the high schools around mid-November.

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