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More Than $1.6 Billion Provided for Energy Efficiency Projects In California Schools

Voter-approved initiative adjusts corporate income tax code & allocates revenues

Since 2013, $1.63 billion was requested and given to schools for energy efficiency projects through the Proposition 39 K-12 Program, which is administrated by the Energy Commission. That voter-approved initiative adjusts the corporate income tax code and allocates revenues to school districts. In turn, schools use the money to make energy efficiency improvements.

More than 90 percent of the allocated funding was requested for projects at 7,300 K-12 schools across the state. Upgrades include switching to LED lighting, replacing inefficient air-conditioning and heating units or installing solar panels.

Districts report annually on the progress or completion of projects. Most final reports indicated schools where energy efficiency measures were implemented experienced a decrease in energy use intensity (EUI), a metric that measures the energy performance at a school site. Similar to the miles-per-gallon metric for vehicle fuel economy, the EUI indicates the amount of energy used per square foot of building space per year.

Districts that did not experience a decrease in EUI identified changes to operating conditions based on schedules, weather, or increased building space, which may have accounted for the increase.

An additional 238 districts reported construction was complete and were still in the energy use data collection period. Projects are still in the construction phase for more than 900 other districts.