During a recent Elmore County Commission meeting, Schneider Electric delivered encouraging news to county taxpayers — $500,000 worth of energy costs were trimmed from utility bills the past two years.

Before the partnership the county faced challenges with funding maintenance upgrades.

Schneider Electric, a multinational corporation with offices in the state and throughout America, analyzed and implemented an energy-performance contracting model to fund upgrades intended to save money on energy usage.

According to the company, the county has already reduced its energy use 38% and can expect to see savings of over $4.4 million over 20 years.

The project resulted in the county making infrastructure improvements to county facilities including the historic county courthouse in downtown Wetumpka.

Specific components of the project included installation of acrylic window inserts and solar-blocking film that reduces changes in room temperature, a variable refrigerant flow system that allows HVAC systems to heat or cool as required on a per-room basis, a centralized control system for remote visibility and control of building systems, and motion and occupancy sensors to determine when equipment needs to run and when it can be shut down.

“Our partnership with Schneider Electric will allow Elmore County to address key facilities issues that had been on our deferred maintenance list for many years,” county engineer Richie Beyer said.

“In the end, it is a win for citizens and the commission because they don’t have to come up with additional revenue to make these improvements. The employees that occupy these buildings and spaces should see better working conditions in addition to the public that interacts with these facilities every day.”

According to Schneider Electric, the project is expected to remove 15,525 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which is the equivalent of removing 3,279 cars from the road or planting 14,696 acres of trees.

Schneider Electric offers energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services into integrated packages for homeowners, businesses and government agencies.