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Winston-Salem/Forsyth County (N.C.) County Schools

CATEGORY: Sustainability


Winston-Salem/Forsyth County (N.C.) County Schools



The Winston Salem/Forsyth County School System is continually faced with the challenge or opportunity to use its resources wisely. WSFCS is the fourth largest school system in North Carolina and the 78th largest in the nation. WSFCS has 43 elementary schools, 14 middle schools and 15 high schools. Nine special schools bring the system-wide total to 81. With funding at the state and local levels being reduced, increasing utility rates, increasing student population, and uncertain economic conditions, our sustainability and energy management plan must be flexible and ever changing. When serving 54,000 students the standards for maintaining excellence in education and maintenance cannot be sacrificed.

Maintaining aging buildings and infrastructure with limited funding and staff seems to be an ongoing problem. For too many years school systems have been faced with providing an environment conducive to learning on a shoestring budget while operating buildings that are in some cases 40 plus years old and in need of replacement, repair and major renovations. Keeping up with current classroom technology, athletic needs, failing HVAC equipment and lighting are overwhelming tasks. Add in changing regulations and new standards that educational facilities have to comply with and you begin to see the picture unfold. Managing the energy use and cost of these facilities is even a bigger challenge.

In today’s marketplace you must also incorporate being environmentally friendly and green to gain support of the entire community. When someone offers to help pay for upgrades at your facilities, you should pay attention. That’s just what WSFCS did by incorporating the Duke Energy Smart Saver Incentive Program into the existing energy management program. With the Smart Saver Incentive Program, businesses and K12 schools can receive cash for installing high efficiency lighting, heating and cooling units and other qualifying equipment.

Enhancing our culture of energy conservation by upgrading and replacing failing equipment with incentive dollars made sense. Over the past several years the WSFCS Maintenance Division has replaced outdated T12 lighting with energy efficient T8 lighting. 400 watt gym lighting has been replaced with 54 watt T5 high bay lighting and several gyms have LED high bay lighting. Occupancy sensors have been strategically installed throughout the schools. Energy efficient chillers that use environmentally friendly refrigerants along with other HVAC equipment have been replaced. Low flow and water saving fixtures have been installed throughout our facilities. Energy efficient windows and roofing materials also contributed to our success. The use of energy efficient equipment helped WSFCS improve its bottom line by reducing energy consumption and Smart Saver Incentives helped lower the costs associated with the upgrades. Another bonus was contributing to a greener environment by reducing the amount of natural resources needed to keep our facilities running.

To date we have received more than $314,000 in incentive dollars, which have been reinvested into more energy saving projects throughout the district. These projects have resulted in a reduction of over 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity along with significant water, sewer and natural gas reductions. We also reduced our carbon footprint by 962 metric tons of carbon dioxide. According to the EPA that’s equivalent to the annual greenhouse emissions of 202 passenger vehicles or 345 tons of waste sent to the landfill or 132 homes electricity use for one year or the carbon sequestered by 788 acres of US forests in one year. These improvements help the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools fulfill its most important mission which is educating our students while improving the teaching and learning environment and reflecting the districts commitment to energy and environmental stewardship.


In-house Participants

Wayne Loflin, Director of Maintenance
Howard Moore, Energy Manager
David Prudhomme, Electrical Department
Todd Mabe, Electrical Department
Barry Motsinger, Capital Projects
David Vaden, Capital Projects
Greg Berrier, HVAC Department
Danny Loflin, HVAC Department
Ray Rivas, General Maintenance Department
Larry Ragan, Plumbing/Boiler Department
Tad McClamrock, Plumbing/Boiler Department


Additional Information

- Carver Gym Before
Carver Gym

- Carver Gym After
Carver Gym

- Winston-Salem Prep Academy
Winston-Salem Prep Academy

- Chiller
Chiller photo

- Restroom upgrade
Chiller photo


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