California school facilities are being upgraded with the approval of $827 million from the Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) K-12 Program. Energy efficiency and clean energy generation projects have already been completed in 52 school districts around the state that are projected to save the annual energy consumption equivalent of more than 2,000 homes - and save the school districts nearly $2.5 million in annual energy costs.
This milestone and others are described in a new California Energy Commission progress report on the Proposition 39 K-12 Program. Voters passed Proposition 39 in in 2012 to adjust for five years the corporate income tax code and allocate projected revenues to California's general fund and to projects in schools that improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation in schools.
The full report, approved by the Proposition 39 Citizens Oversight Board, is available here: Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act, K-12 Program and Energy Conservation Assistance Act 2015-2016 Progress Report. It will be included in their annual report to the Legislature.
The report includes information and project data covering the period from December 2013 through June 30, 2016. Schools are required to submit a progress report annually to the Energy Commission for approved energy projects. Final reports must be filed once a project is complete and the school has gathered12 months of energy use data.
The Energy Commission reported 914 school districts submitted 981 energy projects for funding, benefitting 3,519 project school sites. The 52 school districts with completed project reports represent $27 million of Proposition 39 funding. An additional 174 school districts have completed project construction and have shifted into the data collection phase. This represents $104 million in Proposition 39 funding. Another 733 energy projects are still in the construction phase, with $151 million in Proposition 39 expenditures.
Proposition 39 states that schools must complete steps to secure and contract out for funding by June 30, 2018, meaning applications to the Energy Commission must be received by August 1, 2017. The report identified this timeline as a major challenge to the program, effectively shortening the program by eleven months.
The report also highlights the information on the Energy Commission's zero interest loan program, known as the Energy Conservation Assistance Act - Education Subaccount (ECAA-ED) and the Bright Schools Program. Both programs were appropriated funds through Proposition 39 and compliment the K-12 grant program.
In addition to the Energy Commission, the California Department of Education, California Conservation Corps, California Workforce Development Board, and the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office each administer aspects of the Proposition 39 Program.