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September 2, 2014 > State approves Prop 39 money

State approves Prop 39 money

Submitted By Amber Beck

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,Ó said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the agencyÕs lead on energy efficiency issues.

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.

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