The California Energy Commission has launched a new online system for schools to submit Energy Expenditure Plans under the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39). The system provides schools a streamlined process to submit all the elements of a plan for review and approval under the newly authorized 2015 Program Implementation Guidelines.
“Voters approved Proposition 39 in 2012 to help schools get much needed funding to improve facilities,” said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the Commission’s lead on energy efficiency. “We want to provide a fast and simple way for schools to apply for funding. This online system moves us in that direction.”
Proposition 39 funds are used to improve building energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation in schools. Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), including county offices of education, school districts, charter schools and state special schools, are eligible for funding. A total of $279 million is available for the second fiscal year of the Proposition 39 program. Schools can request funding for energy projects by submitting an Energy Expenditure Plan application for either one year or multiple years to the Energy Commission.
Beginning in 2013 and continuing for the following five years, Proposition 39 transfers up to $2.5 billion in new revenues to create clean energy jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save energy and costs for schools. To date, the Energy Commission has approved 253 energy expenditure plans, totaling more than $170 million and benefiting 788 schools in California.
The online system is expected to improve the application and review process. The system was tested by schools and outside entities to ensure this week’s launch goes smoothly. LEAs will find an updated set of calculators used to determine saving-to-investment ratios, automation in filling out identification information and easier-to-use formats. The online system will also allow the review process to become more efficient resulting in faster approvals.
Proposition 39 changed the corporate income tax code and allocates projected revenue to the state General Fund and the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund. Under the initiative, millions of dollars are available annually for appropriation by the Legislature for eligible energy projects such as energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy generation at schools
To help schools through the application process, the Energy Commission developed easy-to-use energy savings calculator tools for simple energy projects and has a team of engineers and energy specialists to review and approve expenditure plans. Schools can access these online resources at energy.ca.gov/efficiency/