• K-12 Public School Districts
  • Charter Schools 
  • State Special Schools
  • County Offices of Education*
  • Community Colleges*

*County offices of education and community colleges may apply for technical assistance under the Bright Schools Program, which is funded under the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39).

Eligible applicants planning to retrofit existing buildings can benefit from the program. For example, a building energy audit can identify energy-savings projects, such as lighting system upgrades, heating and air-conditioning equipment, or energy management system and equipment controls.

The program can:

  • Provide energy audits and feasibility studies. 
  • Review existing proposals and designs. 
  • Develop equipment performance specifications. 
  • Review equipment bid specifications. 
  • Review commissioning plans.

In most cases, there is no cost to participate in the program.

The Energy Commission provides technical assistance services up to $20,000 of a consultant's costs. The cost of a study depends on the facility size, type, and scope of the project. If the cost of the study exceeds $20,000, the school may opt to share in the cost or reduce the scope. The Commission contracts with experienced engineering and architectural consultants with technical assistance.

The program is a continuously open with no final filing date. Program funds are limited; however, filing promptly will help increase the chances of receiving assistance. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Before receiving assistance, applicants must meet the following program selection criteria: commitment to implementing energy efficiency recommendations, high-energy cost per square footage, and the potential for energy savings. The application and governing board resolution must indicate how the local educational agency plans to fund the energy efficiency project recommendations.

The Energy Commission has zero- and low-interest loans. More information is at Energy Conservation Assistance Act.

Steps to Apply

The Energy Commission must have a governing board resolution before providing technical assistance. The sample resolution is available as a PDF or Word document: 

Buildings needing technical assistance must provide supplemental information, such as: 

  • Latest 12 months of gas and electric utility bills
  • Past energy studies
  • Preliminary plans or proposals

Mail the application, governing board resolution, and supplemental information to:

California Energy Commission
Bright Schools Program
Local Assistance and Financing Office
1516 Ninth Street, MS-23
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

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