For Immediate Release: August 28, 2014
Media Contact: Amber Beck - 916-654-4989
California Approves Plans Totaling $66 Million for Prop 39 Projects
More than 75 energy plans approved by California Energy Commission in first fiscal year
SACRAMENTO - More than $66 million of California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Prop 39) money is going to 244 schools in California that submitted energy project spending plans to the California Energy Commission during the first fiscal year of the program. The funds will be used to improve building energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation in schools.
More than $380 million was available the first year. Local education agencies (LEAs), including county offices of education, school districts, charter schools, and state special schools, are eligible for funding and request money by submitting an energy expenditure plan application to the Energy Commission. LEAs had an option to receive part or all of their first-year award allocation for energy planning purposes.
"Nationally, K-12 schools spend more money on energy than computers and textbooks combined,” said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the agency’s lead on energy efficiency issues. “The Energy Commission and Local Education Agencies are taking the lessons learned over the last year and working to streamline the application process, adapt it to best meet schools’ needs, and ensure overall program success. Prop 39 allows schools to apply for funding over the next four years so that they can continue making improvements—and then spend the savings to educate students."
In the last 12 months, the Energy Commission developed program guidelines and a handbook for LEAs, provided comprehensive training to more than 800 participants and approved 79 energy expenditure plans for 244 schools across the State. In addition, more than $150 million was distributed to 1,644 schools for planning purposes. This money was only available in the first year. The Energy Commission will accept energy expenditure plans for the second of five years in September. Any unallocated funds in the first year will roll forward into the second year. Upwards of $280 million is available now. LEAs can submit one plan each year or a multiyear plan.
To help schools through the application process, the Energy Commission developed easy-to-use energy savings calculator tools for simple energy projects and is adding several engineers and energy specialists to review and approve expenditure plans. Schools can access these online resources at energy.ca.gov/efficiency/proposition39/ and get advice by calling the toll-free hotline at (855) 380-8722.
The Energy Commission is the lead agency for Prop 39 implementation and works collaboratively with the California Department of Education, California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, California Public Utilities Commission, California Workforce Investment Board, the Division of the State Architect, and the California Conservation Corps.
Prop 39 changed the corporate income tax code and allocates projected revenue to the General Fund and the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund. Under the initiative, roughly up to $550 million annually is available for appropriation by the Legislature for eligible energy projects such as energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy generation at schools. Over the next five years Prop 39 will transfer an estimated $2.5 billion in new revenues to create clean energy jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy and costs for schools.
Hear more about Prop 39 from Commissioner McAllister by viewing this video.
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About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974 and based in Sacramento, the Energy Commission has seven core responsibilities that guide its actions when setting state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration projects; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; and planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.