Proposition 39 (Energy Efficiency) Planning Funds Application Period Is Open

January 2014

On January 13, 2014, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction opened the window for local educational agencies (“LEAs”) to apply for planning funds awarded pursuant to Proposition 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, passed by voters in November 2012.  All LEAs have been awarded funds for energy efficiency improvements on their sites, but in order to access those funds, you need to submit an application.  The next application deadline is January 31, 2014.  Confirm your award allocations on the California Department of Education website and apply for planning funds here before January 31, 2014.

Proposition 39 made changes to the corporate income tax code resulting in approximately $550 million annually for the next five years to improve the energy efficiency of the state’s schools.  On December 19, 2013 the California Energy Commission (“CEC”) unanimously adopted the California Clean Energy Jobs Act Guidelines, which provide guidance to LEAs on Proposition 39 implementation, including the process for receiving funds, project tracking requirements, additional state resources and more.

Planning funds can be applied to the following activities: (1) energy audits, surveys, and assessments; (2) assistance completing Proposition 39 applications and other program requirements; (3) hiring or retaining one or more energy manager(s); and (4) energyrelated employee training.  (See the Guidelines for additional details.)  Unused planning funds may be used for other project costs approved pursuant to the LEA’s energy expenditure plan.

The planning fund allocation is only a portion of each LEA’s total Proposition 39 allocation, so LEAs should also plan to complete and submit an energy expenditure plan.  The CEC has stated that it will post a handbook and the application form for energy expenditure plans on its Proposition 39 website early in 2014.  Fund recipients may spend money on various types of energy projects, including: improving lighting controls and occupancy sensors; replacing incandescent exit signs; installing new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; replacing old boilers and furnaces; sealing ducts; and installing photovoltaic solar panels.  The CEC will review and approve applicants’ energy expenditure plans, and is scheduled to begin awarding 2013-14 allocations in February 2014. 

Note that Proposition 39 is a temporary (five year) program, and all funds allocated must be encumbered by June 30, 2018, all projects must be completed by June 30, 2020, and final project reports are due by June 30, 2021.

Additional information is available on the CEC website, the School Energy Coalition website and the Coalition for Adequate School Housing website.

If you have any questions regarding Proposition 39 or if you need sample documents, please call one of our six offices. 

F3 NewsFlash prepared by Kathy McKee, Luke Boughen and Meg Keaney.
Kathy McKee is a partner in the F3 San Diego office.
Luke Boughen is an associate in the F3 San Diego office.
Meg Keaney is an associate in the F3 Oakland office.

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