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

To improve school facilities and help lower energy bills, California’s schools have had the chance to apply for funding through the Clean Energy Jobs Act, often known as Proposition 39. The California Energy Commission oversees the K-12 portion of the program.

During the past five years, $1.63 billion was requested through the Proposition 39 K-12 Program. It is a voter-approved initiative that adjusted the corporate income tax code and allocated revenues to school districts. Schools are using 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. As of the last reporting period (July 1, 2017), 174 final project reports were submitted, meaning construction was complete and the required 12-month post installation energy use data was collected.

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 another 919 districts.

Applications closed late February for the K-12 Program. Schools have until June 2020 to complete projects and have until 2021 to submit final project reports.

View the Energy Commission report to see summaries of all annual and final reports.

Photo courtesy of the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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