May 5, 2023: CARB Sets Roadmap to 100% ZEV for Some Vehicles

On Friday, April 28th, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved a new regulation which will require state and local government agencies—including local educational agencies (LEAs), as well as qualifying federal and private sector fleets operating big rigs, garbage trucks, delivery trucks and other medium and heavy-duty vehicles to begin to phase out purchases of non-zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) beginning next year.

The Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) regulation is part of the Board’s overall approach to accelerate a large-scale transition to zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Effective January 1, 2024, local educational agencies will be required to ensure at least 50 percent of vehicles purchased within certain categories are zero-emission beginning in 2024, and 100 percent of vehicle purchases are zero-emission by 2027.

Notably, school buses were exempted, but the ruling does apply to other vehicles in LEA fleets such as vans and trucks. The regulation contains an exemption for “school buses as defined in CVC section 545(a).” The statutory definition of school buses is based on vehicle type and the type of use of the vehicle. Based on the information available and the statutory definition, we need additional clarification from CARB regarding vehicle types included and excluded, such as mini or shuttle-type buses.

State and local government fleets have no requirement to end the use of their existing compliant vehicles. Affected fleets may keep their existing combustion-powered vehicles for the full useful life.

ZEV Milestones Option

As an alternative to the timeline above, state and local government fleet owners may elect to meet ZEV targets using the ZEV Milestones Option. This allows state and local government fleets to purchase either ZEVs or near-ZEVs, or a combination of ZEVs and near-ZEVs, until 2035. Starting in 2035, only ZEVs will meet the requirements. The longer, phase-in timeline available under this alternative compliance method is detailed in the table below.

Exemptions Available

CARB acknowledges that the technology does not yet exist to replace all internal combustion vehicles. The ACF Regulation is intended to accelerate the development of these technologies by ensuring a market for them.

The regulation includes an exemption for cases in which a ZEV is not available for purchase and is needed to comply. The ZEV Purchase Exemption allows a fleet owner to purchase a new internal combustion engine vehicle and exclude it from the internal combustion engine vehicle removal requirement of the Model Year Schedule, or exclude it from the ZEV Milestones calculation.

Exemptions to purchase internal combustion engine vehicles would only be needed if the fleet cannot otherwise meet the ZEV targets. A list of vehicles that are not available as ZEVs or near-ZEVs will be kept on the CARB website, and fleet owners can apply for fleet-specific exemptions if the needed vehicle is not listed and if the fleet falls under the High Priority and Federal Fleets or the State and Local Agency Fleet requirements.

ZEV School Bus Legislation

Separate from the CARB ruling, AB 579 (Ting) Schoolbuses: zero-emission vehicles is currently awaiting approval in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. That bill would require, “commencing January 1, 2035, 100% of all newly purchased or contracted schoolbuses of a school district, county office of education, or charter school to be zero-emission vehicle.” It does contain an exemption process similar to what we managed to get into the EV Bus Replacement trailer bill language last year. Under AB 579, an LEA could request a one-time exemption of up to five years from CARB (in consultation with the CA Energy Commission) if it “can reasonably demonstrate that a daily planned bus route for transporting pupils to and from school cannot be serviced through available zero-emission technology in 2035.”

We will need to see how well the existing exemption process for the EV Bus Replacement program is working. We could see a graduated phase-out like the one in the CARB ruling either amended into this bill, or created later by CARB through the regulatory process. If the bill becomes law, we would need to monitor the development of technology so we don’t run up against a diesel bus phaseout prior to the availability of buses that are as reliable in all climates and terrain.

As a whole, LEAs should take this CARB ruling, existing legislation, and multiple Executive Orders issued by the Governor to mean that we should be planning for the infrastructure that will be required to support 100% ZEV fleets.

A summary of the ACF Regulation is available here. You can read the full regulation here.


April 5, 2023: AB 247 Update

On April 4 the School Energy Coalition (SEC) supported Assembly Bill 247 (Muratsuchi), the Kindergarten Through Community College Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2024, was amended to include several provisions that were part of AB 75 (O’Donnell) which would have placed a K-14 school facilities bond on the ballot in 2022. While the bill has not been amended to include specific dollar amounts, or the 2024 election date, it does include many School Facility Program changes that SEC has supported. The following is a summary of key features.

Energy & Climate Amendments

AB 247 would provide a new construction or modernization grant adjustment of up to 10% for projects with energy efficient design, for costs associated with design and other plan components related to school facility energy efficiency. Energy efficiency components that are eligible include:

•               Conservation;

•               Load reduction technologies;

•               Peak load shifting;

•               Solar water heating technologies;

•               Ground source temperatures for heating and cooling;

•               Photovoltaics; and

•               Technologies that meet the emerging technology eligibility criteria established by the California Energy Commission (CEC).

A project that received funding from the renewable energy program administered by the CEC is not eligible for a grant adjustment under this section.

Eligibility requirements for the grant adjustment would be as follows:

The building proposed for the project, including the energy-efficiency and renewable energy measures, shall exceed the nonresidential building energy-efficiency standards specified in the Energy Code by an amount not less than 15% for new construction projects and not less than 10% for modernization projects, and shall be shown to provide sufficient energy savings to return the cost of the initial investment in the project over a period not to exceed seven years.

The applicant shall certify that the cost for the project exceeds the amount of funding otherwise available to the applicant under this chapter.

Climate Set-Aside—

The bill also creates a set-aside of bond proceeds in an unspecified amount “for projects to address climate change impacts on school facilities.” SEC staff are working with other facilities stakeholders on proposals to further shape such a program.

Disaster Relief—

The bill would authorize the State Allocation Board to provide assistance for purposes of procuring interim housing to school districts and county offices of education impacted by a natural disaster for which the Governor has declared a state of emergency.

Other Key Amendments

Sliding Scale State Match. Would increase the state match percentage on both new construction and modernization projects that are submitted by school districts that have higher than average percentages of students that are from low-income families, English learners, or foster youth, and for school districts with less than the state wide average of assessed valuation per pupil. Under this sliding scale, schools with a lower gross bonding capacity would be eligible for an up to 5% increase in their state match. No projects would have their state match reduced below the current percentage as a result of this formula.

OPSC Processing Deadline. Would require the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) to process funding applications and present them to the State Allocation Board (SAB) for approval within 120 days of receipt.

Statewide School Facility Inventory. Would require school districts that apply for bond funding to submit specified facilities inventory information to the State Department of Education.

Replacement of Old Buildings. Would authorize the use of modernization funds for the demolition and reconstruction of school facilities older than 50 years.

Revised Financial Hardship Eligibility. The bill would increase the maximum level of total bonding capacity that a school district could have in order to be eligible for financial hardship assistance under the act from $5,000,000 to $15,000,000, and would tie it to inflation going forward.

Small School District Assistance. For small school districts, those with 2,501 or fewer pupils, the bill would increase the financial hardship eligibility from $5 million to $15 million, allow for preliminary apportionments of up to 5% of the state match amount, and increase the eligibility hold harmless from three years to five.

Minimum Essential Facilities. Would create a new minimum essential facilities program to address school districts that do not have facilities that are necessary for a complete school. Qualifying projects would be those with an existing gymnasium, multipurpose room, library, or school kitchen that is 60% or less than the California Department of Education’s recommended size for its enrollment. These funds could also be used for constructing a new gymnasium, multipurpose room, library, or school kitchen if the site is lacking one.

Would also authorize the use of bond funds for—

  • School facilities located on military bases;
  • Testing and remediation of lead levels in water fountains and faucets used for drinking or preparing food on school sites;
  • Seismic mitigation purposes;
  • Infrastructure to provide broadband internet access.


Some of these provisions could change as a result of discussions in the Legislature, and others may be added to AB 247. Stay tuned for future updates.

June 14, 2022: State Budget Update


On June 13th, the Legislature approved SB 154 (Skinner) the 2022-23 State Budget bill. Traditionally, the State Budget bill would be comprised of a negotiated agreement between the Legislature and the Governor. However, this bill is actually a placeholder intended to meet the State Budget deadline while negotiations continue among the Big Three; the Governor and the leaders of both Houses of the Legislature. As a placeholder, SB 154 does not include all of the items that comprise the 2022-23 Legislative Budget Package Actions.


The California State Constitution requires the Legislature to approve a State Budget bill each year by June 15th. In recent years, the Legislature and Governor have begun to pass a very high-level budget bill, and a series of trailer bills, in the following two - three months which actually provide the detail needed by state and local agencies. 


Next Steps:

The Legislature and Governor will continue to negotiate on the State Budget, and implement their agreement piecemealed through multiple trailer bills. There is no real deadline for these bills because the State Budget can always be adjusted retroactively, but they typically conclude this work prior to the end of the Legislative session, which occurs on August 31st of this year.


June 2, 2022: Coalition Rallies in Opposition to NEM 3.0 Proposed Decision 


A large coalition to which SEC belongs held simultaneous demonstrations in San Francisco and Los Angeles today in opposition to the NEM 3.0 Proposed Decision. Save California Solar is a coalition formed to help ensure that rooftop solar continues to grow and benefit every Californian. While SEC staff was not able to attend in person today, we were able to provide testimony via telephone. Many thanks to those SEC members who participated. 


The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a ruling on May 9th which solicits additional information on three elements of the proposed decision: 1) the glide path approach, 2) non-bypassable charges on gross consumption; and 3) community distributed energy resources. Taken as a whole, it appears the CPUC remains on course to make solar energy projects economically infeasible for local educational agencies. 


As such, SEC provided testimony at today’s hearing, and is developing written comments in response to the May 9th ruling. 


JUne 2, 2022: Legislative Leaders Release Budget Plan Ahead of Negotiations


On Wednesday, June 1, Legislative leaders released their State Budget plan and priorities as they commence negotiations with the Governor. The two documents provide a greater degree of detail than is normally provided to the public at this stage. The narrative conveys the Legislature’s desire to save a large proportion of the current surplus for a future recession, and to keep spending under the Gann Limit which—due to conflicting Constitutional mandates—both constrains and compels state funding in ways that could be damaging to state safety net programs and other priorities. Notably, the Legislature proposes taxpayer rebates of $200 as opposed to the $400 proposed by the Governor. As with the May Revision, this plan also emphasizes using over 90% of surplus funds on one-time investments, such as infrastructure.


$21 Billion Climate and Energy Package

In lieu of the Governor’s various Resources- and Energy-related packages, the Legislature would like to adopt a Legislative Climate-Energy Budget Plan, appropriating $21 billion General Fund (in addition to associated federal and special funds), with details subject to ongoing negotiations. The Plan is expected to include items related to the following issues: Water-Drought Resilience, Wildfire Resilience, Sea Level Rise, Extreme Heat, Biodiversity and Outdoor Access, Energy, Zero-Emission Vehicles, and other climate-related actions. 


This plan could include the requested resiliency/energy efficiency funds for schools from the $1 billion + resiliency/climate adaptation funding, and the $1.5 billion for conversion of school bus fleets to electric vehicles. 


The Legislature’s plan approves $1.5 billion Proposition 98 General Fund for an EV school bus program and assigns the program to the California Energy Commission. The May Revision had assigned the program to the California Department of Education. SEC had requested the program be assigned to the California Air Resources Board to remain consistent with other, similar programs. 


The Legislature would also allow low-emission uses, indicating they’re open to using funds for buses that are not electric. Lastly, their plan “would require high-road policies for state procurement.” According to the UC Berkeley Labor Center, “Optimizing climate policy outcomes while supporting the creation of and access to family-supporting jobs is a “high-road” approach to economic development. Further information is needed to know what definition of the term is being used here, and whether they would apply to local educational agencies. 


The release of this plan initiates the Legislature’s negotiations with the Governor and will result in a deal on topline items, which will be unveiled in the main 2022-23 State Budget bill which must be passed by the Legislature on or by June 15th to meet Constitutional deadlines. SEC staff will provide updates as the process continues. 

May 13, 2022: Governor Newsom Releases the May Revision


This morning, Governor Newsom released the May Revision (MR) of his State Budget proposal. In his presentation, the Governor cautioned that the state’s historic surplus is well outside of historic trends and, therefore, he proposes most of it (94%) be spent on one-time programs and services. School facilities were mentioned as one of the types of infrastructure investments.


The May Revision proposes a total $3.9 billion from the State General Fund (GF) for school facilities construction and modernization. This represents an increase of $1.8 billion above the Administration’s January proposal.


Extreme Heat

The May Revision points to past investments in adapting to the extreme heat brought on by climate change, and does not propose any augmentations. The 2021 Budget Act allocated $800 million General Fund over two years (2021-22 and 2022-23) to a Climate Resilience Package, including $300 million for the implementation of an Extreme Heat Action Plan. The largest part of that Plan, which was finalized in April 2022, includes $220 million over two years to support cooling of communities at schools and resilience centers. 


We are disappointed that the May Revision did not include the additional $1 billion requested by a large coalition of environmental and energy advocacy organizations to bolster the Community Resilience Centers program at the Strategic Growth Council. Among other things, that program funds the construction and rehabilitation of school facilities needed to serve as emergency shelters during extreme heat, wildfires, power outages, smoke emergencies, evacuations, etc. 


Accelerating Clean Energy and Storage

The May Revision does not include any other investments in clean energy or energy efficiency for schools. It does propose $970 million for the Public Utilities Commission to provide residential solar and storage system incentives, including for low-income households. This consists of $670 million for solar and storage systems for low-income households. This also includes $300 million for additional storage installations paired with existing residential solar systems.


Lithium Valley Development

The May Revision proposes several measures to increase lithium extraction—a critical component of solar panels—from the Salton Sea, including expediting CEQA and developing a local work force. Notably, the proposal includes a mechanism which would allow nearby communities in Riverside and Imperial Counties to retain 80% of tax proceeds, and the remaining 20% to be dedicated toward Salton Sea restoration.


Next Steps

SEC staff will continue to advocate for increased resources for clean and efficient school energy systems in the 2022-23 State Budget. 


The Assembly and Senate will quickly review the Governor’s revised budget proposal and close out action on individual proposals within their respective houses in the next few weeks. We are hearing that the Legislature may bypass the use of a Conference Committee, a method typically used to publicly reconcile differences between the two legislative houses. This would mean negotiations would occur in private and the Legislature would present a united front as they enter final discussions with the Administration. The Legislature is working to pass the main budget bill by the constitutional deadline of June 15th. 


March 9, 2022: Net Energy Metering 3.0 Update

Yesterday, SEC met with California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) staff to discuss the Net Energy Metering 3.0. Proposed Decision. SEC Advocate Nancy Chaires Espinoza met with Kerry Fleisher, Interim Energy Advisor to President Reynolds, Simi George, Advisor to Commissioner Rechtschaffen, and Winnie Chen Assistant to Commissioner Rechtschaffen.


Most of the meeting was dedicated to providing the CPUC staff with information regarding how school districts differ from other commercial solar customers, focusing on how financing constraints make school districts more vulnerable to changes in NEM. We reiterated that in order to grow the proportion of school districts that adopt solar (and storage) projects, it is imperative that school districts remain in NEM 2.0.


CPUC staff asked our opinion of a “glide path” to reduced financial benefits of rooftop solar, and we stated that schools cannot afford to glide in the wrong direction. The fact that such a small proportion of schools currently have solar illustrates that even under the existing tariff, its difficult to get these projects to pencil out.


CPUC staff were engaged throughout and asked questions about our unique circumstances. They were not able to provide any information on the CPUC’s next steps beyond what was in the recent Administrative Law Judge ruling.

February 16, 2022: SEC Supports Historic $8 Billion Budget Request for School Facilities


The Senate Budget Subcommittee #1 on Education held a hearing on February 15 and included a discussion of the Governor’s budget proposals for the School Facility Program (SFP), School Nutrition and Transportation. 


The School Energy Coalition (SEC) provided testimony in support of increased state grant funding for the Building Code changes to meet the state’s climate goals; and in support of the Coalition for Adequate School Housing’s (CASH) proposal for a one-time non-Proposition 98 General Fund apportionment of $8 billion to meet demand for new construction, modernization and transitional kindergarten facilities through November 2024.


In addition to supporting this proposal, SEC advocates pointed out that the $8 million does not account for the increased costs of new Building Code requirements such as the requirement for solar energy and electric vehicle charging stations on school sites. SEC advocates will continue to work with CASH and other key stakeholders to support this historic funding request for school facilities. SEC members can support this request individually and we will discuss how you can help in more detail at our next SEC Membership Meeting at the CASH Annual Conference on February 25.


2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Resources for Schools

Center for Green Schools released an update on regarding recent legislation that “contains surprising resources for schools and communities.”


“Schools have an important role to play in combating climate change, a major goal of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Agencies in charge of the new funding will be working to get guidance and application forms out the door over the coming months. For school facilities leaders, that means it’s time to do some advance planning to position your schools to benefit from funding that is specifically designated for schools, funding that includes schools as eligible applicants and funding for community infrastructure that will support greener schools.”


January 14, 2022: California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Voting Meeting


SEC staff testified at yesterday’s CPUC Meeting in opposition to the NEM 3.0 Proposed Decision. Since testimony is limited to one minute, our comments highlighted the following:

  • A proposal that achieves some of the Commission’s goals but creates such tremendous damage in other areas is not acceptable. The work is not done.

  • The education sector of the economy is the second largest in terms of value, behind transportation.

  • School Energy Coalition can affirm that the NEM 3.0 PD will effectively end the adoption of solar projects on school sites. We have done the math.

  • The economics are already so difficult that only about 10% of school sites in California have solar.

  • We don’t believe the Commission really want to preclude schools from doing their part to meet the state’s GHG reduction goals, or preclude schools from having stable, reliable and affordable power to continue critical services during PSPS. But that’s what the PD would do.


The CPUC Needs to Hear from You


We anticipate CPUC action on NEM 3.0 at the January 27th meeting. If you haven’t done so already, please submit a letter to the CPUC explaining the detrimental impact the NEM 3.0 PD would have on your district or clients’ ability to install solar or solar+storage in schools. Options include:


  • Write your own letter and submit through the CPUC website or send via email to
  • Use SEC’s letter as template and use the same submission options as above.

  • Sign onto SEC's coalition letter by sending your logo, electronic signature and signature block to no later than Noon on January 24, 2022. The text is the same as the letter SEC sent, but with individual school district logos along with SEC's logo.

January 10, 2022: State Budget Update


Governor Newsom released his proposed 2022-23 State Budget today, which prioritizes fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, combating the climate crisis, addressing homelessness (including conservatorships), tackling the high cost of living in California, and education. This update reports the school energy-related highlights of the Governor’s Budget Summary. SEC advocates will provide future updates when trailer bill language is released and the Legislature begins its deliberations.


Net Energy Metering

While not a part of the proposal, one of the first questions the Governor was asked by press was his position on the California Public Utility Commission’s (CPUC) Net Energy Metering 3.0 Proposed Decision (NEM 3.0 PD) which would significantly decrease the financial benefits of solar energy projects. His response was that “We still have some work to do.” The Governor’s awareness of the issue and specifically with the fact that the PD is not in line with the carbon-neutrality goals of the state, is encouraging. This means that we have to maintain our efforts to educate the CPUC and the Administration regarding the detrimental effect the NEM 3.0 PD would have on schools, and the need for the work to continue.


School Facilities Program

The Budget proposes to allocate the remaining Proposition 51 bond funds—approximately $1.4 billion—to support school construction projects. Because Proposition 51 bond authority is expected to be exhausted in 2022-23, the Budget proposes approximately $1.3 billion one-time General Fund in 2022-23, and $925 million one-time General Fund in 2023-24 to support new construction and modernization projects through the School Facility Program. There was no mention of programmatic change, but its possible such proposals could arise during the Legislature’s deliberations.


School Transportation

The Budget proposes $1.5 billion one-time Proposition 98 General Fund, available over three years, to support school transportation programs, with a focus on greening school bus fleets. Specifically, grants of at least $500,000 would be available with priority for local educational agencies with high concentrations of low-income students, youth in foster care, and English language learners, as well as small and rural local educational agencies. In his comments, the Governor stated that the goal is to ultimately electrify the entire state school bus fleet.


The Administration assumes that with $500,000, a local educational agency would be able to acquire an electric school bus, construct the bus’s charging station, and support other local school bus transportation needs. These investments could result in ongoing savings to transportation programs that could be used to support other aspects of school transportation programs.

Equitable Building Decarbonization

The Budget proposes funding $962.4 million General Fund over two years for building weatherization and appliance electrification, prioritized for California’s most vulnerable residents. SEC staff will provide a future report regarding the ability of schools to receive these funds, since we cannot make that determination based on the information released today. This amount includes:

  • $622.4 million General Fund over two years for a statewide low-income direct-install building retrofit program, including funding for replacement of fossil fuel appliances with electric appliances, energy-efficient lighting, and building insulation and sealing.

  • $300 million General Fund over two years for consumer rebates for building upgrades, such as replacement of fossil fuel equipment with electric appliances.

  • $40 million General Fund over two years to accelerate the adoption of ultra-low-global warming potential refrigerants.


“Lithium Valley”

The Budget proposes expedited permitting and other supports to accelerate lithium production in the Salton Sea. This would mitigate a future shortage of lithium-powered batteries which are critical to decarbonization efforts.


Extreme Heat

While the Budget doesn’t include new proposals addressed extreme heat, it does indicate that they could be included in the May Revision. The 2021 Budget included $300 million General Fund over two years to support the implementation of the state’s updated Extreme Heat Action Plan. “The Administration has released a draft plan, which will inform both the final plan and the detailed budget proposal forthcoming in the spring.”


Based on public input so far on the draft plan, the Administration is considering the following major funding streams:

  • Cooling schools in heat-vulnerable communities.

  • Building a climate smart workforce through training partnerships, and apprenticeships in jobs and careers that address extreme heat such as construction, urban forestry, building weatherization, and climate smart management of schoolyards.

  • Protecting vulnerable populations through targeted education for employers and employees, increased enforcement before and during heat events, and enhanced review and tracing systems.

  • Increasing public awareness to reduce risks posed by extreme heat.


SEC has supported budget requests in the past to include solar and storage projects and heat pumps in schools as part of the network of community resilience centers to be used by the public during heat emergencies. The Administration is undertaking a comprehensive examination of the issue through the development of the Extreme Heat Action Plan.


Water and Drought Resilience

While the Budget did not include new funding for water issues, the 2021 Budget Act contained $5.2 billion ($4.7 billion General Fund) over three years to support immediate drought response and long-term water resilience, including funding to support drought response; drinking water, wastewater, and water supply reliability; water recycling and groundwater clean-up; flood management; restoration of natural areas and ecosystems; Salton Sea; groundwater sustainability; water conveyance; and water and habitat improvement for environmental flows.

October 6, 2021:  Emergency Connectivity Fund - October 13 deadline

If your district has not already submitted an application under the open window for Emergency Connectivity Fund Program funding, we want to make sure you are aware of the  most recent funding available – October 13 deadline.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it received requests for $5.14 billion to fund 9.1 million connected devices and 5.4 million broadband connections under the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program -

The requested demand in California is $812,045,890.55.

The first filing window, which closed August 13, attracted applications from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the outlying areas.  During the second filing window, from September 28 to October 13, eligible schools and libraries may apply for financial support to purchase connected devices like laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity to serve the unmet needs of students, school staff, and library patrons at home during the COVID-19 emergency period between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. 

Additional resources:


Additionally, the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a temporary federal program that launched on May 12, 2021 to help eligible households pay for internet service during the pandemic, is still accepting applications. As trusted community members, schools and districts are encouraged to engage in outreach to eligible families.  

September 8, 2021: Federal Update

State of Our Schools

The BASIC Coalition sent out the State of Our Schools 2021 report by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), along with the 21st Century School Fund and the National Council on School Facilities. This critical research reveals that the U.S. is underinvesting in school buildings and grounds by $85 billion each year and growing. Click here for the California report.

Build Back Better Act

The House Committee on Education and Labor will mark up its portion of the Build Back Better Act, which invests $761 billion to lower the cost of child care and education, help Americans secure good-paying jobs, and increase support for our nation’s children. “The Education and Labor Committee’s portion of the Build Back Better Act makes historic investments that will lower costs for nearly every family, create good-paying jobs for American workers, and provide our nation’s children the strong foundation they deserve,” said Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. “I look forward to bringing this transformative proposal one step closer to President Biden’s desk.” 

For a fact sheet on the Committee’s portion of the Build Back Better Actclick here

For text of the Committee’s print of the Build Back Better Act, click here

August 19, 2021:  CEC Update on CalSHAPE

Application materials for the California Schools Healthy Air, Plumbing, and Efficiency (CalSHAPE) Plumbing Program provide information on the process to complete and submit an application in the CalSHAPE Online System, found at

The following application materials are available:

  • CalSHAPE Plumbing Application Video Tutorial
  • CalSHAPE Plumbing Application Tutorial Slides
  • CalSHAPE Plumbing Program Application Instructions Companion Document

The application materials include screenshots of the application pages and instructions on the process to complete the application. The companion document also includes general information on using and navigating the system and details on the function of the buttons on the application pages.

The application materials are found at the CalSHAPE Program webpage, under the Plumbing Program expandable menu.

May 20, 2021: Governor Releases May Revision

On Friday May 14, Governor Newsom released the May Revision to his State Budget proposed in January. The rapidly changing public health and economic circumstances, coupled with newly available federal funds, are resulting in more new proposals than are customary at this point in the budget development process. As was recently announced, the State is experiencing a $75.7 billion surplus, which will enable the Governor’s May Revision to invest an additional $20 billion for public education.

In his May Revision, the Governor proposes to allocate much of the additional funding toward specific programs—including new programs—while also increasing K-12 per pupil funding to its highest level ever, totaling $13,977 per pupil in Proposition 98 General Fund, and $21,152 per pupil when accounting for all funding sources. The May Revision includes total funding of $121.7 billion ($70 billion General Fund and $51.7 billion other funds) for all K-12 education programs, the highest level of funding in California's history. 

State Energy Goals

The May Revision proposes $912 million ($905 million General Fund, $5 million reimbursements, and $2 million special funds) to accelerate California’s progress on meeting its clean energy goals. Major investments include:

Energy Resources Program Account (ERPA)

The May Revision proposes to raise the statutory cap on the ERPA surcharge, tie the statutory cap to the Consumer Price Index, and extend the surcharge to apply to behind-the-meter electricity consumption.

This increase will generate $4.5 million in additional revenues in 2021-22 and approximately $9 million annually thereafter to offset recent revenue decreases, and will allow the California Energy Commission (CEC) to continue playing a critical role in creating the energy system of the future.

Zero Emission Vehicle Acceleration 

The May Revision includes $150 million for zero emission school buses and infrastructure for 2021-22. The May Revision proposes $826 million in additional investments that accelerate the state toward meeting climate and transportation goals established in Executive Order N-79-20 and consistent with California’s Zero Emission Vehicle Market Development Strategy.


April 9, 2021: American Jobs Plan

The School Energy Coalition sent a letter in support of President Biden's American Jobs Plan. While energy efficiency was built in to almost every piece of the plan, SEC requested Congress use the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act to include $100 billion in grants, especially for schools in disadvantaged communities, and $50 billion for tax credit bond authorizations. We asked that the grants and tax credit bond authorizations include incentives for schools to become 100 percent clean renewable, Zero Net Energy, greenhouse gas reduction schools for the 21st Century. 


March 15, 2021: NEM 3.0 Coalition


The California Public Utilities Commission is looking into a proposed Net Energy Metering 3.0. The SEC Executive Committee met and agreed to request education associations sign on to a Coalition letter. We thank the Association of California School Administrators, California Association of School Business Officials, California School Boards Association, and the Coalition for Adequate School Housing for agreeing to sign on to the letter.

September 1, 2020: AB 841 Sent to the Governor

After an interesting end of session last night, AB 841 has been enrolled! Briefly, AB 841 would create the School Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program which would provide grants to make energy efficiency upgrades to K-12 schools.

We hope you will take a moment to tell Governor Newsom that you support AB 841 and request his signature on the bill.


The easiest way to do so in this new era is to visit the Governor's website by clicking here. Choose "Have Comment" and choose from the "Please choose your subject" drop-down "AB00841: Energy: transportation electrification: energy efficiency programs: School Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program."


Then fill out the rest of the form, click continue and use the message box to request his signature on AB 841.

August 17, 2020: Action Alert: Please Send Letter to the Editor in Support of AB 1001

We hope you all are cool, safe and well as COVID-19 continues to affect California and the safe reopening of California schools. The School Energy Coalition (SEC) continues to advocate on behalf of California’s school districts in this new, pandemic era.  SEC shares and supports your priority of getting our schools and state back to normal. California schools have a multitude of challenges right now due to COVID-19, wildfire season, heat emergency, and a struggling energy grid. SEC continues to relay the benefits of, and need for, energy efficiency and resiliency to the Administration, Legislature and State Agencies.

The Sacramento Bee published an 
article on August 15, 2020 which included a reference to the SEC-supported AB 1001 by Assembly Member Ting. Unfortunately, the State Senate did not hear the legislation, like many other bills in this pandemic year. 

We encourage you to write a letter to the editor [click here for a template] of your local news outlet in support of the effort to provide funding assistance for installing solar and battery storage to school sites. Those of you who already have solar can describe the benefits of your solar array and how battery storage could help reduce the impact of, or avoid, rolling blackouts.

SEC and our coalition partners continue to advocate on this issue before the State Treasurer’s Office, Governor’s Office, Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, Infrastructure Bank, California Energy Commission and the State Legislature.

If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Chaires Espinoza. 

May 14, 2020: CEC Approves Extension of Prop 39 Deadlines

Yesterday the California Energy Commission took action to extend two deadlines for the Proposition 39 California Clean Energy Jobs Act K-12 Program deadlines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the CEC extended the following dates:

  • Final project completion date by one year to June 30, 2021
  • Final project completion reports date by one year to June 30, 2022

SEC Chair Janet Dixon testified in support of this extension via phone during the meeting. Commissioners expressed gratitude for the information from those with "boots on the ground" and cited the importance of school energy projects in stimulating the economy in the midst of the pandemic-induced recession.


Click here for the proposed guidelines that were considered at the Business Meeting.

April 17, 2020: CEC to Consider Prop 39 Deadlines

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has agreed to consider extending the June 30, 2020 deadline.  See below the CEC notice you may have already received.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) will consider extending the California Clean Energy Jobs Act K-12 Program (Proposition 39) deadlines at the May 13, 2020 business meeting in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CEC proposes to extend the following:

Final project completion date by one year to June 30, 2021
Final project completion reports date by one year to June 30, 2022



January 14, 2020: Governor Releases Proposed State Budget

The Governor has released his proposed State Budget for 2020-2021.  The proposed Budget's K-12 General Fund priorities are early childhood education and special education, with school energy programs primarily to be funded by Proposition 13, the 2020 State School Bond which is on the March 3, 2020 ballot.  Implementing those provisions will be an SEC priority for 2020. 

While he does not specifically mention schools in his proposed Climate Resilience Bond, the proposal includes $250 million for Community Resilience planning and centers.


"The Administration is proposing a $4.75 billion climate resilience bond for the November 2020 ballot to support investments over the next five years to reduce specific climate risks across California through long-term investment in natural and built infrastructure, especially in the state's most climate-vulnerable communities. The bond is structured based on climate risks, and approximately 80 percent of the funds are allocated to address immediate, near-term risks (floods, drought, and wildfires), while the remaining funds lay the groundwork for addressing long-term climate risk (sea level rise and extreme heat). 

"The bond aligns with the Administration's draft Water Resilience Portfolio in addressing drought and flood risks, and also makes strategic investments in community resilience. If approved by the voters, the bond will help the state move toward achieving carbon neutrality and carbon sequestration goals, and provide funding for programs that result in multiple benefits, leverage non-state funding, and help address liabilities such as the Salton Sea.

"The bond provides $250 million to invest directly in communities to bolster community resilience centers, and support local preparedness, planning, and education around resilience. This community-level support will help to provide a pipeline of locally defined and driven climate resilience projects and programs that are effectively positioned to leverage state, federal, and private investment opportunities, including during emergencies. These funds will be allocated to:

"Community Resilience Planning-$25 million for planning activities to address community-specific climate risks and develop climate resilience plans.

"Community Resiliency Centers-$225 million for the construction of new and retrofitting of existing facilities, including at fairgrounds, to support adaptation needs to address locally relevant climate risks. These centers will serve both as community evacuation and emergency response centers, and to build long-term resilience and recovery operations for local communities.

SEC will work with the Governor's office Energy Czar for school districts to be eligible in this new program.  Cabinet Secretary, Ana Matosantos, the state's Energy Czar leads a dedicated energy team with Ann Patterson, Alice Reynolds, and Rachel Wagoner spearheading the Administration's energy efforts. 

This also will be a 2020 SEC priority.


"The Budget proposes a comprehensive approach to California's investments to protect the state's environment, address the effects of climate change, and promote resiliency. This climate budget includes $12 billion over the next five years. Three key areas of the climate budget are a proposed climate resilience bond, cap-and-trade expenditures to continue the transition to a carbon-neutral economy, and a new Climate Catalyst Fund to promote the deployment of new technologies, especially by small businesses and emerging industries. The Budget proposes to capitalize the Fund with $1 billion General Fund over the next four years.


"Addressing the destabilizing effects of catastrophic wildfires on the state's electric utilities has been a primary focus of the Administration. These efforts have paid off, stabilizing Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, supporting investments in hardening electricity transmission at a lower cost to ratepayers, and making California safer and more resilient. The state's goals are clear. Californians must have access to safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy. California must continue to make progress on the state's climate change goals. And any resolution of the pending bankruptcy proceeding must fairly compensate victims, protect the workforce, and on average must be ratepayer neutral. 

"The Budget reflects necessary support for the Administration's efforts to achieve the required transformation of PG&E within the bankruptcy process. However, if protecting Californians' interests and ensuring the necessary transformation requires further intervention, including a state takeover of the utility, the Administration will work with the Legislature to secure necessary statutory changes, appropriations to support transactional and planning costs, and liquidity measures." 

June 11, 2019:

AB 1028 has yet to have a no vote, has had bipartisan support and will next be heard in the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Retirement, and then heard by the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications.

We need your help to get AB 1028 through the Senate and then be signed by the Governor. The author's office is requesting new letters for the Senate. 

Click here to view the SEC letter, you are welcome to use it as a template. 

If your representative is a member of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Retirement, or the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, please contact them and ask them for their support of AB 1028.    

Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Retirement

Senator Jerry Hill (Chair)
Senator Mike Morrell (Vice Chair)
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
Senator Holly J. Mitchell
Senator Richard Pan

Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications

Senator Ben Hueso (Chair)
Senator John M. W. Moorlach (Vice Chair)
Senator Steven Bradford
Senator Ling Ling Chang
Senator Bill Dodd
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
Senator Jerry Hill
Senator Mike McGuire
Senator Susan Rubio
Senator Nancy Skinner
Senator Henry I. Stern
Senator Jeff Stone
Senator Scott D. Wiener

Click here to find your State Senate Representative.  

June 11, 2019: Clean School Bus Act

Senators Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, and others have introduced legislation in the United States Senate that proposes the "acceleration of national school bus fleet electrification" in the Clean School Bus Act.

"Currently, school buses account for around 90 percent of the nation’s bus fleet. Changes could, therefore, make for major emissions reduction. To do this, the Clean School Bus Act proposes provided up to $2 million in grants for the replacement of diesel school buses, investments in charging infrastructure and the support of workforce development. It would also establish areas that serve lower-income students as a priority for these funds and target the most polluting buses. A further $1 billion would be authorized by the Department of Energy over the course of five years to fund a Clean School Bus Grant program."


May 17, 2019: Please Contact Your Assembly Representative

AB 1028, authored by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez and coauthored by Assembly Member Chiu, has passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee and will next be heard by the Assembly Floor at the end of May.


Please call your Representatives in the Legislature, ask them to support AB 1028 when the bill is heard on the Assembly Floor. Click here to find your State Assembly Representative.


We will be delivering a Floor Alert early next week to all Assembly Members.  You can use the Alert for Talking Points in support of continuing the Clean Energy Jobs Creation Program.


May 17, 2019: Please Continue to Send Letters in Support of $300 Million State Budget Appropriation for the Clean Energy Jobs Act


Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez has requested a $300 million State Budget Act appropriation to continue the Clean Energy Jobs Creation program. 

Please ask Governor Newsom, Assembly Speaker Rendon, Senate Pro Tempore Atkins, Assembly Member Ting and Senator Mitchell to include the $300 million request in the Budget Act.  Click to utilize a draft letter and addresses to address the letter.Please put this letter on your letterhead and have it signed by your Superintendent or CBO. To make it as easy as possible, you can send your letters to Aileen and she will ensure they get to the State Capitol.

Fortunately, the funding for this program is from increased Corporate Tax revenue created by Proposition 39 (2012). That increased revenue continues and only needs to be appropriated.  In fact, Corporate Tax revenues are more than $800 million greater than projected in the Governor’s January State Budget estimates.

The Clean Energy Jobs Creation Act has a record of creating significant economic and fiscal benefits for local communities in the form of job creation and significant energy cost savings for schools. According to the California Workforce Development Board, it is estimated that approximately 19,812 jobs were created as a result of Proposition 39 K‐12 funding.

By continuing the Clean Energy Jobs Creation Act, California can take steps toward reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and meeting our climate goals, while reducing costs for schools and providing a pipeline for a more skilled workforce.

Please Send Letters in Support of AB 48 and AB 1028

SEC's mission continues as managing our energy and water resources become a bigger part of the school budgetary and facility policy universe.  I hope you will continue to advocate for legislation that will allow California's schools to go deeper to save on their utility bills while lowering their greenhouse gas and fossil fuel footprint.


On that note, we need your help.  Please consider sending draft letters on your district or business letterhead in support of these important bills.


AB 1028 (Gonzalez) has been introduced to put $300 million into the Clean Energy Jobs Creation Fund, prioritizes state-approved pre-apprenticeship programs, and allows funding to be used for energy managers.  Draft Letter


AB 48 (O'Donnell), the 2020 and 2022 State School Bond bill, has also been introduced and we are advocating that it include an energy component on its own. Please send a letter in support of the bill.  Draft Letter


If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to email Aileen.  She can also distribute letters for you.


Please Continue to Submit Project Narratives

Please assist us in supporting funding for Proposition 39 2.0 by sending us a few paragraphs about your LEA project(s) and photos that outline (before and after if possible but anything is great!) what is being done with the funding received. 

While there is no deadline to submit as we need all information, the earlier the better. Meetings at the State Capitol will continue.

Summaries should include a brief description of the project(s) in progress and energy/cost savings projected.  For example:

Phase I | Project Cost: $365,900 | Annual Savings: $30,361 | Energy Saved: 273,615 kWh/year
Phase II | Project Cost: $6,229,892 | Annual Savings: $215,240 | Energy Saved: 1,411,340 kWh/year

Please email Aileen with your summary. 

We need your input to ensure energy projects are funded in each State Budget!



At Schneider Electric, we take pride in helping school districts create 21st century learning environments for their students and staff.

To help school districts across the nation achieve their goals, we’re launching a contest to fund bold ideas that transform schools. So no matter how large or small your idea, we want to hear about it. We will choose one innovative idea to be awarded up to $100,000 in cash or cash equivalent.


What is a bold idea?

The beauty of this contest is that there’s no wrong answer for what a bold idea is to you. It could be new books for your library, a floating classroom on the moon or literally anything in between.


For more infomation on:

  • What exactly is a bold idea?
  • How can school districts come up with ideas?
  • What does Schneider Electric have to do with K12 schools?


Visit our blog


Ready to submit your bold idea now? 

Rounded Rectangle: Visit our contest website

October 31, 2018: CEC Update

November 6 is the Last Day to Apply for the U.S. EPA School Bus Rebate Program

Schools that applied to the California Energy Commission “School Bus Replacement for California Public School Districts, County Offices of Education, and Joint Power Authorities” solicitation are encouraged to apply to a new Federal Program as it is anticipated that the Energy Commission program will likely be over subscribed.

On October 1, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made over $9 million available to public and private fleet owners for the replacement of old diesel school buses through its 2018 School Bus Rebate Program. November 6, 2018, is the last date to apply for funding. Regional, state, or local agencies; port authorities; tribal governments or native villages with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality; public school districts; and private entities that operate school buses under a contract with an entity listed here are eligible to apply. The rebates are between $15,000-$20,000 for the replacement of old diesel school buses with engine model years of 2006 and older.

Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. ET on November 6, 2018. For more information, visit

October, 2018: End of Session

AB 2068 (Chu) Signed by the Governor as Chapter 208, Statutes of 2018.This SEC-supported legislation requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to direct all electrical and gas corporations to evaluate, and report findings to the Commission on the feasibility and economic impacts of establishing a public school electric and gas rate that would reflect a discount from the current rate structure by January 1, 2020.   SB 100 (De León) Signed by the Governor.
This bill requires the state's utilities to get 100% of electricity from wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and other carbon-free sources including, perhaps, nukes by 2045.  Sets a state goal to supply 100% of retail electricity sales from carbon-free resources by 2045 and directs state agencies to begin planning for the target. The bill also boosts the state's current 50% renewable portfolio standard to 60% by 2030 and mandate that California's actions do not "contribute to greenhouse gas emissions increases elsewhere in the western grid."   

SB 700 (Wiener)
- Signed by the Governor as Chapter 839, Statutes of 2018, the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) of 2000 establishes monetary incentives for distributed generation resources until 2021. The bill extends the SGIP program five years and refreshed funding to the $800 million level. SGIP makes battery storage more affordable for schools. SB 700 targets resources for low-income customers and disadvantaged communities seeking to install energy storage. 

SB 782 (Skinner) - Signed by the Governor as Chapter 684, Statutes of 2018, SB 782 was designed to spur public and private innovation so that technology developers, entrepreneurs, researchers and others can assist California in meeting the state's renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy reliability goals.  This bill was amended in the last days of the Legislative Session to require an electrical or gas utility to provide to the owner, owner's agent, or operator of a property with two or more buildings located on a single parcel or adjacent parcels, with aggregate energy usage data for those buildings.

August 15, 2018: AB 2068 to the Governor

The SEC-supported legislation (AB 2068) that requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to study the feasibility of a schools-only electricity rate is on its way to the Governor. SEC has sent a letter to the Governor's office requesting his signature. Feel free to use it to send your own individual letter from your school district or county office of education. The Governor should know that schools continue to struggle under the weight of ever-increasing electricity bills.


SEC supports legislation that will give us more information on the impact of a special rate that would reflect the unique usage and load profile of K-12 schools. We look forward to working with the CPUC on this idea once the Governor signs this bill into law.

Please click here to view the letter SEC sent to the Governor encouraging his signature on AB 2068.

July Budget Update

On June 27, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed a $201 billion state budget that he said fulfilled a pledge to bring California government out of the $27 billion deficit it had when he took office.  The State Budget also leaves his successor with a $14 billion reserve for when the next recession hits.  This is the Governor's last budget and it projects a $9 billion surplus for the coming year.


There is $78 billion for public schools, or $11,640 per student, a $4,600 increase since Brown took office, according to the Governor's office.


We were unable to move forward our $250 million request for the Clean Energy Jobs Creation Fund despite our best efforts. Although this is extremely disappointing, we appreciate all of the letters and summaries we received from local education agencies (LEAs) - your input helped illustrate the discussions we were having on the success of the program.


We educated a number of legislators on the success of the Proposition 39 program and the benefits in cost savings and greenhouse gas reduction going forward. We are well-positioned to move forward next year with a new legislative champion and a new Governor.


SEC will continue to provide breaking state and federal information to our members, opportunities and requirements for school sites and campuses to become more energy and water efficient and to generate clean power, as well as public and private funding for installations that will provide savings and potential revenue streams through better management of these resources.

July Legislative Update

AB 2068 (Chu D)   Electricity: rates: public schools.

In Senate Appropriations

Would require the CPUC to direct all electrical and gas corporations to evaluate and report findings on the feasibility and economic impacts of establishing a public school electric and gas rate that would reflect a discount from the current rate structure. This bill would require the commission to compile these reports and submit this compilation to the Legislature, by January 1, 2020.


AB 2431 (Weber D)   Public Utilities Commission: proceedings: intervenor compensation.   DEAD

The bill would have authorized small school districts, as defined, to participate in the general rate cases of electrical or gas corporations, to receive that compensation.


SB 700 (Wiener) Energy Storage Initiative

In Assembly Appropriations

In response to a requirement to adopt initiatives, on or before March 7, 2001, to reduce demand for electricity and reduce load during peak demand periods, including differential incentives for renewable or super clean distributed generation resources, the PUC adopted decisions establishing a self-generation incentive program. This bill would extend the collection for the self-generation incentive program to December 31, 2024, and the administration of the program to January 1, 2026. The bill would require the PUC, on or before July 1, 2020, to update the factor for avoided emissions of greenhouse gases.


SB 782 (Skinner) Energy Data Transparency

In Assembly Appropriations

Would require the CEC to develop a system for assigning a global unique identifier for each building within the state to better develop technologies to address usage.


SB 1015 (Allen) California Climate Resiliency Program

In Assembly Appropriations

Would establish the California Climate Resiliency Program to increase resiliency to climate change impacts in urban and rural communities throughout the state and to fund the planning and implementation of projects that improve and enhance the climate change resiliency of natural systems, natural and working lands, and developed areas.


SB 1399 (Wiener D)   Renewable energy: shared renewable energy tariffs.  DEAD

Would have required the CPUC to require each large electrical corporation to establish a tariff or tariffs that provide for bill credits for electricity generated by eligible renewable generating facilities and exported to the electrical grid to be credited to electrical accounts of nonresidential customers of the corporations.


SB 1477 (Stern D)   Low-emissions buildings and sources of heat energy.  

In Assembly Appropriations

Would require the CEC to develop and administer the Technology and Equipment for Clean Heating (TECH) Initiative, to require electrical corporations and gas corporations to advance the state's market for low-emission space and water heating equipment for new and existing residential and nonresidential buildings.

June 7, 2018: DOE Launches $3 Million Prize Competition to Boost Domestic Solar Manufacturing


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced the launch of the American-Made Solar Prize , a competition to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. The program will support entrepreneurs as they develop transformative ideas into concepts and then into early-stage prototypes ready for industry testing.

Entrepreneurial individuals and teams will compete through a series of three successive prize contests designed to develop new products to be made in America. Competitors will have access to mentoring and other supportive resources through a network of national labs, incubators, investors, and industry experts.

“The Administration is fully committed to strengthening America’s manufacturing competitiveness,” said Secretary Perry. “The Solar Prize brings together the nation’s best-in-class research resources, unparalleled entrepreneurial support system, and competitive, American spirit to create new innovations primed for private investment.”

Click here for the full article.



May 17, 2018:  2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and PostSecondary Sustainability Awardees Announced

These awards honors schools, districts, and Postsecondary Institutions for reducing environmental impact and costs, improving health and wellness, and offering effective sustainability education.  Congratulations to the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) on this honor. 

Anna Klovstad, SEC Executive Committee Member and Project Manager in the TTUSD Facilities Department stated: "It has been a 10-year journey to the Green Achiever award for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.  We are so proud of this accomplishment and could not have done this without our community partners.  We hope our story inspires others to start or continue their journey.  Our resources are always available on our website." 

Congratulations to the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District on this honor!!  The following is a press release from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District:

Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Received National Recognition for Sustainability Efforts  TTUSD is one of only six school districts to be recognized.

TRUCKEE, Calif. –The U.S. Department of Education announced yesterday that Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) is a 2018 Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee. TTUSD is one of only six school districts in the United States, and the only school district in California to receive this prestigious national recognition for their sustainability efforts.


The U.S. Department of Education is honoring Tahoe Truckee for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness of schools, students, and staff, and ensure effective sustainability education.

Robert Leri, TTUSD’s Superintendent Chief Learning Officer, shared, “I am extremely proud that our district is leading the way in resource conservation and environmental literacy. It’s truly a team effort, and we could not have accomplished what we have so far without our amazing community partners.”

In April, TTUSD was named a California Green Ribbon School District and earned the “2018 Green Achiever” award, the highest honor in the California Green Ribbon Schools recognition program.

“We plan to build on our accomplishments and will continue to model environmental stewardship in the classroom and throughout our district,” stated Leri.



April 10, 2018: Legislative Update

The School Energy Coalition has submitted the following letters to the Legislature:

AB 2431: Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee

AB 2068: Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee

SB 1399: Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee

Senate Budget Committee

Assembly Budget Committee

Please feel free to write your own letter, you are welcome to use the above letters as templates.

If you have any questions, please contact Anna.

April 5, 2018: Schools harness learning power

Via District Administration: Ray Bendici

Faced with tight budgets and the expanding use of electricity-hungry technology, districts are turning to energy efficiency solutions that don’t sacrifice learning power.

“Academic achievement is always foremost in everyone’s mind, and parents, teachers and administrators all want to be first in that space where you’re providing the latest tools—the tablets, laptops and phones that students use to do homework,” says Anna Ferrera, executive director of the School Energy Coalition, a public school-based energy advocacy organization.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.


January 30, 2018: Solar power turns down costs for Ventura County schools

Via the Ventura Star: Alexa D'Angelo

School districts throughout Ventura County are saving tens of thousands of dollars a year by switching to solar power — a trend mirrored across the United States.

The switch to solar is happening at a rapid pace and by switching, schools and districts are able to reduce electricity bills and free up resources to invest back into students, according to a recent study from The Solar Foundation, Generation 180 and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

In the United States, 5,489 K-12 schools use solar energy — a figure that has nearly doubled since 2016, according to the study.

The dramatic growth in school solar adoption has been driven by rapidly declining installation costs. The average price of a solar school installation has dropped 67 percent in the last 10 years, and 19 percent in 2016 alone, the report found.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

January 16, 2018: Governor's Proposed State Budget

On January 10, 2018, the Governor released his January State Budget proposal, the first marker in discussions with the Legislature and the public regarding how the State should allocate its revenue.  


In the 2018-19 January State Budget document, the Governor's Office has scored $409 million to the Clean Energy Jobs Creation Fund (Fund) - the account where the Proposition 39 program allocations have been placed (see Appendix 55 on Page 238).   According to the State Department of Finance, this $409 million is a placeholder estimate of the remainder from the Proposition 39 program. Finance tells SEC that the California Energy Commission and the Department of Education would calculate how much is remaining after the deadline per Senate Bill 110 (deLeón).


Local Education Agencies (LEA) still have until February 26, 2018 to submit their energy expenditure plans for the fifth and final year of the Proposition 39 Program. Proposition 39 projects must be completed by June 30, 2020.


SEC will be participating fully in the State Budget Subcommittee Hearing process regarding the remainder program which includes clean energy bus funding, low- and no-interest loans and grants for energy-efficiency and clean energy projects. We will also be discussing future funding for school energy projects and sharing the cost and efficiency success of Proposition 39.


December 2017: CEC Issues Reminder on EEP Deadline


The California Energy Commission (CEC) has just issued the following REMINDER regarding the final deadline for Proposition 39 energy expenditure plans.


Reminder for LEAs:  February 26, 2018, is the final opportunity to request Proposition 39 funding. If a local educational agency (LEA) has award allocation remaining, now is the time to apply by submitting an energy expenditure plan (EEP) to the Energy Commission.


All amendments requesting additional Proposition 39 K-12 grant funding are also due by February 26, 2018.


After February 26, 2018, the Energy Expenditure Plan Online System will not accept new energy expenditure plans or amendments requesting additional Proposition 39 funding. However, amendments for adjustments to approved EEPs that do not request additional funding will continue to be accepted after February 26, 2018. Rules regarding  amendments that document significant EEP changes are outlined in the program guidelines.


Questions may be directed to or the Proposition 39 (K-12) Hotline, toll-free at 855-380-8722, or for those out-of-state at (916) 653-0392.

September 28, 2017: San Francisco Schools Aim for a Zero Carbon Footprint by 2040 

The San Francisco Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of a plan to achieve carbon neutrality — the phasing out of fossil fuel use entirely — by 2040. Board officials say the San Francisco Unified School District now has in place the nation’s most aggressive carbon reduction goal of its kind. Dana Cronin KQED 

September 28, 2017: Bright Schools Program

The California Energy Commission would like to encourage your participation in the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39 K-12 Program) and the Energy Commission’s Bright Schools Program.

The Commission’s Bright School Program provides services including energy audits to identify cost-effective energy savings projects that may be eligible for Proposition 39 (K-12) Program funding. The Bright Schools Program’s technical assistance is a grant of service up to $20,000 at no cost to you.

The Proposition 39 (K-12) Program application submission deadline is currently scheduled for January 12, 2018. With that deadline fast approaching, we want to encourage you to apply to the Bright Schools Program to assist in identifying projects and applying for additional Proposition 39 (K-12) funds. Eligible projects evaluated in your energy audit include:

  • Lighting systems
  • HVAC equipment and controls
  • Pumps and motors
  • Kitchen appliances and other measures
  • Swimming pool covers and heaters
  • Energy-efficient windows, insulation, and cool roofs
  • On-site clean energy generation, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems

The Bright Schools Program application form is available at


School Board Capitalizes on Proposition 39 Funds

Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency was the name of the game Monday night as Oakdale Joint Unified School District moved forward in taking advantage of funding by way of Proposition 39.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.


July 12, 2017: Governor Brown has Signed SB 110

Governor Brown has signed SB 110 (Chapter 55, Statutes of 2017) - Budget Trailer Bill Language (TBL) to extend the Proposition 39 program. This was the School Energy Coalition's highest legislative priority this year and we succeeded!!

SB 110 TBL REMOVES the sunset of the Proposition 39 program so it may continue indefinitely (subject to the annual State Budget process) and provides a date certain for remaining funds to be swept from the Proposition 39 program for those Local Education Agencies (LEA) that have never submitted such a plan for approval.

SB 110 also requires that those remaining funds continue to be made available to K-12 school districts in the form of clean energy buses, low- and no-interest loans, and by application for energy efficiency and renewable grants.

The New EEP Application Deadline is January 12, 2018 for ALL LEAs

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has sent out a notice extending the deadline for energy expenditure plans (EEP) for all local education agencies (LEA). The new EEP deadline is January 12, 2018. This date has been issued in light of the changes that have occurred to the Proposition 39 program in the State Budget agreement and accompanying SB 110 Trailer Bill Language (TBL). K-12 LEAs now have an additional five months to participate in the Proposition 39 program.

In addition, CEC announced that all amendments requesting additional Proposition 39 K-12 funding are also due by January 12, 2018.

LEAs are allowed to submit amendments after this date, just not for any additional funds. Amendments will be accepted "only for other significant changes to EEP as outlined in the program guidelines." According to the CEC, "No amendments requesting additional Proposition 39 funding will be considered after January 12, 2018."

There is much more work ahead as the fifth year rolls out, audits are conducted, and remaining funding is allocated. We hope you will join us as we provide continuing input and roll out this new funding program!


We have MORE news to share about SB 110 - Budget Trailer Bill Language (TBL) for Proposition 39 - currently awaiting the Governor's signature.  


After further analysis and discussion, it appears that a critical paragraph in this TBL -- referencing the March 1, 2018 date -- refers ONLY to those LEAs that have never (ever!) submitted an energy expenditure plan (EEP).  After that date, funding remaining from those LEAs that have never submitted EEPs will be "swept" and reported to the Legislature by the CEC for specified K-12 use. 


Those LEAs that have already submitted EEPs and/or are waiting to submit their fifth and final year EEP will not be subject to this date.  These LEAs will see a new deadline for their EEPs in response to the one-year encumbrance date extension of June 30, 2019, that SEC worked so hard to move forward, and is already approved in the Budget Agreement.  




When will we know about a new CEC deadline for EEPs??  The CEC is not likely to act to set any new deadlines until we know the fate of SB 110. The CEC will then be able to announce all new timelines set in the budget and in TBL at once.  SEC will be informing LEAs as soon as these deadlines are announced.


What's New?? The bill directs Proposition 39 funding left on the table after March 1, 2018 from those LEAs that have not ever submitted an EEP - primarily charter schools and others that for whatever reason have chosen not to participate in the program - to be "swept" for specified purposes. This is still expected to be a substantial amount of funding available for buses, low- and no-interest loans, and by application for school efficiency and renewable projects.


SB 110 language states:

"26205.5. (a)  Of the moneys provided to the Job Creation Fund for purposes of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 26205, the available remaining funds, which are the funds allocated to a local educational agency that has not submitted an energy expenditure plan, as determined by the Energy Commission as of March 1, 2018, shall be appropriated as follows:"

1.) $75 million for clean energy buses in low air quality areas in disadvantaged communities;

2.) $100 million for ECAA low- and no-interest loans; and

3.) By competitive application to schools that want to go further with energy efficiency and renewable projects on school sites.


SB 110 TBL also REMOVES the sunset of the program so it may continue indefinitely - subject to allocation in the annual State Budget process. 


**Are you, or do you know, an LEA that has not yet gone out for Proposition 39 funding?  They will definitely want to do so by March 1, 2018 if this bill is signed.  


SEC strongly supports SB110!  SEC has sent a letter to the Governor.


SEC has worked tirelessly to move language that allows schools more time to spend their Proposition 39 allocation with full knowledge of the Proposition 39 program's fifth year of funding.  


Let's grow this group.  Let other LEAs know - join SEC!  Our work continues as we move the remaining program funding, help schools apply and qualify for clean energy buses, additional funding, and approvals for CEC loans for solar PV and deeper energy efficiency and Zero Net Energy (ZNE) status.  


June 6, 2017: SB 518 Moves Off Senate Floor | Prop 39 Encumbrance Date Extension in Budget Bills

Senate Bill 518 (de León) moved to the Senate Floor for a vote and was passed by the Senate - 31 to 8, with 1 abstention.  But our work is not done!  Recent amendments taken in the Senate Appropriations Committee have raised more timeline concerns and SEC is actively engaging with the author's staff to address the problem.


Language in SB 518 sets March 1, 2018, as the final date for approved Energy Expenditure Plans (EEP).  The bill also sets this same date for "sweeping" the remaining funds for clean buses, ECAA loans, and additional funding for projects as listed in the bill.


We believe this could mean little movement in the California Energy Commission's (CEC) current August 1, 2017 deadline date for EEPs for two reasons:


1.)     The CEC and the Department of Education (CDE) will likely need time to calculate the funds remaining for the purpose of re-allocation, as prescribed by the bill; and

2.)     What does "approved" mean?  If "approved" EEPs mean those that have gone through the back-and-forth with a CEC project manager and possible amendments to properly meet the Savings-to-Investment-Ratio (SIR) and are now ready for CDE allocation, then CEC will likely back up the time for final plan submission by LEAs to get to that approval point.  This could very well mean that the August 1, 2017 date stays put or moves only a few months forward, perhaps to January 2018 for final CEC submission of plans.


In our meeting with Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León's staff on SB 518, we learned that Senator de León wants LEAs to have more time given the CEC's August 1, 2017 deadline (that essentially cuts off the current program on that date).  However, he also wants to see California schools move forward with their program funding plan approvals in a timely way.  Finally, Senator de León wants a date certain ahead of the State Budget process so that money remaining on the table may be identified and allocated per SB 518.


SEC is continuing to meet with the author's staff and the CEC to review the bill's language and discuss how to set dates that will give LEAs time to approve their plans in a timely way with full knowledge of their five years of funding.  We appreciate that the Senate President Pro Tem understands what our concerns are, and together we are seeking a resolution that will focus the remaining Proposition 39 funding on K-12 schools and extend the program.  For these reasons we remain in support of the bill as we seek amendments that provide further deadline clarification.


Other Good News on the Proposition 39 Deadline


Another positive development is that both the Assembly and Senate versions of the budget are now moving into Conference Committee where differences will be addressed.  Both Houses are considering changes to the program encumbrance date to allow schools more time to use their current allocations.  


-The Assembly Budget staff are recommending a simple encumbrance date extension to June 30, 2019 for the current program.  


-The Senate Budget staff are working on budget language that is aligned with SB 518, to extend the Proposition 39 program, and to include the encumbrance and "sweeping" dates in this legislation. 


SEC has met with Budget staff from both the Assembly and the Senate to inform them of the concerns regarding the deadlines and it was a very positive discussion.  We will need your support as the Budget bill moves to a vote by the Legislature.  


Stockton Unified School District

June 7, 2016: Stockton USD

Students from the Stockton Unified School District sent SEC a great video to show that conserving energy and saving money is important.  Please check out their video to see how they have contributed to conservation and how you can too!  The Stockton Energy Patrol Saves Millions!

June 6, 2017: What We Learned at the SEC Spring Forums!


SEC had another great line-up at our Spring Forums - Our speakers, including Liz Shirakh from CEC, Kurt Cooknik from DSA, and Kate Gordon who Chairs the Proposition 39 Citizen's Oversight Board, shared some very interesting information with attendees.


- CEC gave us tips for final EEPs:  The deadline remains AUGUST 1, 2017 - Include all potential school sites in your EEP because additional sites cannot be added later.  Even with SB 518 in the works that date will not change until the bill is officially passed and it will still be difficult to address as the bill will not be enacted until January 1, 2018.


- DSA is concerned about certain solar panels flying off school roofs in heavy winds due to possible faulty mounting attachments.  DSA will be sharing more information about this in an upcoming alert - SEC will also share the details as soon as DSA finalizes their study of this problem.


- Kate Gordon, Chair of the Proposition 39 Citizen's Oversight Board, shared that they provided their report to the Legislature which includes support for a continuation of the Proposition 39 program with some suggestions going forward, such as an inventory of facilities and innovation grants.  Also, Proposition 39 project audits are starting and schools must properly track and show energy and cost savings.


They were great information-packed sessions!

March 16, 2017: Truckee Donner PUD awards $44,000 rebate to TTUSD


"TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee Donner Public Utility District recently awarded the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District $44,049.08 in energy efficiency rebates to support school projects. TTUSD celebrated this rebate with a check presentation at their March 1 Board of Education meeting.

"The TDPUD's rebate, combined with the Proposition 39 funds, allowed TTUSD to replace more than 500 fluorescent light fixtures with LED EvoKit fixtures that include SpaceWise controls and use 45 percent less energy than the traditional fluorescent fixtures.

The SpaceWise technologies — that include daylight harvesting, motion sensing and dimming controls — save TTUSD an additional 17 percent by using only power that is needed.

"We are delighted to present the school district with this rebate check," said Lauren Schaake-Hudson, TDPUD conservation program administrator. "This cost-effective energy efficiency project will save the schools a lot of money for years."

The school district expects an $8,884 annual savings in electrical use for the 20-year life from these upgraded light fixtures.Click here to view the article.

February 24, 2017: Please Submit Project Narratives

Please assist us in supporting a Proposition 39 extension by sending us a few paragraphs about your LEA project(s) and photos that outline what is being done with the funding received.  There is no deadline to submit, but the earlier the better.

Summaries should include a brief description of the project(s) in progress and energy/cost savings projected. 

Please email Aileen <> with your summary. 

We need your input to ensure SB 518 is passed and signed by the Governor.


February 24, 2017: SB 518 (deLeón) Introduced

Here is what we know so far

Extends  Funding to the Clean Energy Jobs Fund (CEJF) for five years to 2022-2023 – To be determined annually in budget

Does not provide a set amount of funding for the five extension years after the final encumbrance date of June 30, 2018

Extends for five years the term of the Citizens Oversight Board

Extends for five years the ability to transfer  funds from CEJF to the Energy Conservation Assistance Account to be determined annually in Budget


February 23, 2017: State Advocacy Update

SEC has been hitting the hallways to inform the Legislature about what schools have been doing with Proposition 39 funding and we are making progress! Our advocacy efforts have focused on what is next for school energy projects and the Proposition 39 program. 

To punctuate our advocacy, we met with key Legislative offices on February 21 and 22, regarding this important program funding.  We will continue to engage Legislators on key energy and education committees in going beyond Proposition 39 and will share what more could be done on school sites statewide if the program is extended.

 Your Action Needed:

We hope you can assist in the success of further meetings by sending us a few paragraphs about your LEA project(s) and photos that outline what is being done with the funding received.  Summaries should include a brief description of the project(s) in progress and energy/cost savings projected.



November 3, 2016: U.S. EPA funds project to expand green business in California

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $173,479 to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to help small and medium-size businesses across the state reduce their environmental impacts. Alexis Strauss, EPA's Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, announced the grant at Mandela Foods Cooperative, in West Oakland, one of several local businesses to “go green” with CARB’s assistance.

“Pollution prevention efforts can save money by increasing efficiency and lowering utility and waste disposal costs,” said Ms. Strauss. “I encourage all California businesses looking to reduce their environmental footprint and improve their bottom-line to become certified Green Businesses.”

CARB will use the funds to improve the technical assistance and training efforts of the California Green Business Network, a non-profit organization that helps businesses adopt green practices. The program has expanded to support sustainable businesses in economically-disadvantaged communities. To receive Green Business certification, companies must demonstrate how they conserve resources and prevent pollution, such as using LED lighting and purchasing ENERGY STAR products.

“Small business operators are not only real, local, economic assets, they are community role models, daily demonstrating climate leadership one step at a time,” said La Ronda Bowen, CARB’s Ombudsman.

The California Green Business Network oversees 25 green business programs operated by chambers of commerce, cities and counties throughout California. To date, 3,396 California Green Business participants have saved more than $41 million through green practices. They have also prevented emissions of more than one million tons of greenhouse gases, diverted more than 1.5 million tons of waste from landfills, and saved more than 754 million gallons of water.

EPA’s Pollution Prevention grant program supports projects that reduce or eliminate pollution from air, water, or land. Since 2014, EPA has awarded three Pollution Prevention grants to CARB, totaling $478,641, to expand and improve the California Green Business Network. The funding has supported enhancements in the program’s data system, outreach efforts, and provision of technical assistance and training.

Learn more about the Pollution Prevention grant program:

Learn more about the California Green Business Program: (note: link goes to non-federal Web site)


October 5, 2016: SEC Letter to CEC Regarding Encumbrance Date

Click here to read the letter SEC wrote to the California Energy Commission (CEC) regarding the new deadline the was set for final submittal of Energy Expenditure Plans (EEP) under the Proposition 39 program. 


June 13, 2016: Proposition 1 Groundwater Grant Funding Program Final Application and Workshop Notice

Proposition 1 was passed by voters in November 2014 and provided $900 million for a Groundwater Sustainability Program (Assembly Bill 1471, Chapter 10). The State Water Board will administer $800 million to prevent and cleanup contamination of groundwater that serves (or has served) as a source of drinking water. The funds are available as grants.

The State Water Board adopted the Proposition 1 Groundwater Grant Program Guidelines on May 18, 2016 (see "What’s New" below). Non-substantive changes were made to the Guidelines after the May 18, 2016 Board Meeting. These changes were made under the authority of the Deputy Director (the redline version of the Guidelines is available here).

The State Water Board staff will conduct six Groundwater Grant Program Application Public Workshops in June 2016 (see below for the Workshop schedule). The objective of the workshops will be to provide an overview of the grant funding process and the adopted Guidelines. Division staff will also provide an overview of the Final Application for the Groundwater Grant Program and answer any applicant specific questions.

If you would like to attend a public workshop, please click here to view the workshops and to register. Registration would help State Water Board staff ensure that enough space is available for the event.


June 10, 2016: Clovis Unified School District Solar Savings

Click here to view a great article on how solar panels save the Clovis USD about $2.7 million annually in energy bills!



May 17, 2016: $39.3 Million More for K-14 in Governor's May Revision

We are extremely pleased to report that the revenue for California's K-12 schools and Community Colleges under Proposition 39 has moved in an upward direction.  Announced in the Governor's May Revision we find that Proposition 39 funding has been increased by $33.3 million for K-12 and $4.1 million for Community Colleges!


SEC has been attending and speaking at State Legislative Budget Hearings on Proposition 39 for the past three years arguing that when corporate tax revenue increases there should be an associated increase in the budgeted amount for the Clean Energy Jobs Fund created by voters under Proposition 39.  We now see that correlation.


This is a great win for California's K-14 schools and SEC!!!   


The May Revision is the revised version of the State Budget based on actual tax revenue that comes in after the original January State Budget proposal submitted by the Governor. 


Summary of Proposition 39 Funding Adjusted in May Revision


The Governor's 2016-17 May Revision Budget proposes:


K-12 School Districts: 

  • Proposition 39-The California Clean Energy Jobs Act was approved by voters in 2012, and increases state corporate tax revenues. For 2013-14 through 2017-18, the measure requires half of the increased revenues, up to $550 million per year, to be used to support energy efficiency projects. The May Revision increases the amount of energy efficiency funds available to K-12 schools in 2016-17 by $33.3 million to $398.8 million to reflect increased revenue estimates.


Community Colleges:

  • Proposition 39-The California Clean Energy Jobs Act was approved by voters in 2012 and increases state corporate tax revenues. For 2013-14 through 2017-18, the measure requires half of the increased revenues, up to $550 million per year, to be used to support energy efficiency projects. The May Revision increases the Higher Education May Revision - 2016-17 amount of energy efficiency funds available to community colleges in 2016-17 by $4.1 million to $49.3 million to reflect increased revenue estimates.


May 16, 2016: Proposition 39 Guideline Draft Revisions


The California Energy Commission is proposing a few changes to the Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act - 2016 K-12 Program Implementation Guidelines.  Most are minor - making dates current and adding code sections and legal references for clarity - but here are a few items of note:


  • Clarification of when an ASHRAE level 2 energy audit is needed (pp.23-24)
  • Added an option re: SIR for LEAs who receive First Preference Federal Government Rate (p.27) for Calaveras, Tuolumne, and Trinity Counties (SEC will ask if this can be extended to other public power rates)
  • Best Value Criteria has been repealed in Public Contracts Code - legal reference added (p. 39)
  • New eligible energy measures and associated effective useful life years added to list in Appendix E


All of the proposed draft revisions are now available online at:


(If link above does not work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL.)


The public is invited to respond with comments during the 30 day public comment period from April 27 to May 27, 2016. Comments will be accepted by e-mailing to In the e-mail subject line, please indicate the docket number 13-CCEJA-01 and "Comments on Proposition 39 K-12 Guidelines."

SEC has drafted a comment letter to CEC. View here.  Feel free to use it as a template to draft your own comments with information on how your district/COE is using, or plans to use, Proposition 39 funding. 


April 27, 2016: 2016 State Legislation: Advocacy Alert!


Below are letters SEC has written in support of school energy legislation helpful to schools.  Feel free to use them as templates to write your own to the appropriate committee.

AB 2120 will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Please share the importance of weighing in on decisions that may raise electricity rates that could impact the savings to the state with the help of the CPUC intervenor compensation program.

SB 1041 will be heard next in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Please share what a steady and fair electricity rate would mean to your schools and your current and future decisions regarding energy efficiency and renewables on campus.

State Budget Committees - Proposition 39 Funding

SEC Budget letter to Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education. Please create your own and add anecdotal information related to your school – such as what you are using your Proposition 39 funding for, why it has been important to your district, and why the program should continue.

Thank you! Direct your questions or concerns about this information, or more on how to write your own letter, to Anna Ferrera at:


SEC Defends Schools

SEC's Executive Director, Anna Ferrera is extensively quoted in the Cabinet Report article defending schools by pointing out that funding is indeed moving out to projects under Proposition 39: "Debunking a myth that schools aren't spending energy funds."


"A perception that schools aren't accessing millions of dollars set aside for energy-efficient building upgrades simply isn't true, according to those familiar with the program.

"According to the CEC website, as of Feb. 29 nearly $700 million in planning and project costs had been approved for a mix of local education agencies while just under $300 million remains to be allocated. So far, 944 school districts have been awarded $600 million; 1,131 charter schools have received $87 million, while 58 county offices of education have been allotted $7.3 million. Three state special schools are in the mix for around $300,000.

This article is just another example of the type of day-to-day work we do in Sacramento on behalf of Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and our associates to defend and advocate for funding, and technical assistance to move school energy and water projects forward.

With the Legislature's watchful eye on the Proposition 39 program, press reports and changing state agency requirements, schools need to have a voice in Sacramento.


Citizen’s Oversight Board Meeting


SEC has been asked to be a part of the agenda at the upcoming Proposition 39 Citizen’s Oversight Board (COB) on January 11, 2016.  Click here for the agenda.    We will be sharing with the COB issues that are of concern for schools with regard to the Guidelines and Handbook in meeting the requirements for funding.

The hearing will be at 1516 Ninth Street Art Rosenfeld Hearing Room – First Floor in Sacramento at 1:00 p.m.

DSA Notice: Outdoor Water Use Regulations Take Effect January 1, 2016

In recognition of the continued statewide drought, the Division of the State Architect (DSA) proposed regulations earlier this year to reduce outdoor water use for landscape irrigation by public schools and community colleges. The DSA regulations in the 2013 California Green Building Standards Code (also known as the CALGreen Code) are based upon Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) regulations adopted by the Department of Water Resources.

Effective January 1, 2016, applications received by DSA are subject to the Outdoor Water Use regulations. Detailed information and resources are now available on DSA’s Outdoor Water Use Regulations Web page, and in DSA Procedure PR 15-03.


Potential Funding for Schools from California’s Cap and Trade Auction Revenue!

Great news to report  on potential funding for schools from California's Cap and Trade auction revenue.  In the last few months, SEC has provided testimony and letters in support of these funds being used on school campuses as the Cap and Trade Investment Plan (CTIP) moves through a public comment period and more revisions before it goes to the Governor and Legislature. 

We received the most recent draft of the CTIP.  Throughout the document, schools are now mentioned as potential recipients of programs funded.  This is an excellent advocacy outcome for SEC and we will continue to make the case for school projects to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) in the interest of addressing climate change.   As you may know, California's Cap and Trade system auctions pollution permits to businesses that need them to cover high GHG emissions. These permits started at $10 a carbon ton and now run about $12. Sales of those have reaped nearly $2.2 billion through May, not including the portion that is controlled by the Public Utilities Commission and returned to utility ratepayers.  

The Legislature and Governor appropriate auction proceeds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) to state agencies and programs through the State Budget process, consistent with the implementing legislation.  Last June, the Governor tried to include about $1 billion in funding from this Cap and Trade revenue to address water, energy and transportation issues.  However, the Legislature was successful in asking that this discussion be taken off the table and dealt with separately.  The state will now hold onto those funds until January, when the Governor proposes a spending plan for the new fiscal year. Those funds that were not appropriated remain unspent. The next opportunity will be the next State Budget cycle. 

Overall, the Administration expects to have nearly $3 billion in auction proceeds available to spend this fiscal year (including the $969 million that lawmakers did not act on in the last budget cycle). The latest version of the Air Resources Board (ARB) Cap and Trade Investment Plan (CTIP) now mentions schools in almost every section where business, commercial or AG is mentioned and throughout the noted recommendations section. 

More importantly, schools are also specifically included in the list of "potential recipients" for GHG  reduction project funding!  We are very happy to see that SEC testimony and letters made a difference because this CTIP language has significantly changed to include schools.  

SEC will be thanking the ARB Board for these changes and will continue to participate and discuss how these funds may be used on school projects to reduce GHGs.  The next deadline for written comments on this new draft is December 14 and there are public hearings in Sacramento December 17-18. After the ARB Board adopts the final draft of the Investment Plan it goes to the Governor and then the Legislature. 

Working to move forward funding and program options for K-14 schools under this plan.


New CEC Annual and Final Reporting Tools 

The California Energy Commission (CEC) held a workshop on their new online annual and final reporting tool.   CEC will be posting the webinar on their Proposition 39 webpage  Here are the highlights:

  • This year only - the CEC reporting tool went live a few days ago and schools have until December 31, 2015 to report out on their annual progress on their Energy Expenditure Plans.  In subsequent years LEAs will be notified in July that reports are due by sometime in October.
  • This year only - the annual report is due by December 31, 2015.
  • The plan should reference work done on your Energy Expenditure Plan up to June 30, 2015.  Annual reports data will reflect work done from July 1 to June 30 each year following.
  • Final Reports: Four options to report out on savings:
  • Utility Incentive Completion Report-CEC energy Savings Calculators-LEAs own Final Energy Savings Report-Third Party Final Energy Savings Report(These four methods are outlined in pp 31-32 of the Prop 39 Guidelines
  • Final reports will be called for 12-15 months after work is completed.
  • "Representative" pictures of installations should be uploaded but do not have to take pictures of every installation.
  • Narrative box will allow you to explain issues such as rate increases, weather, or other issues that caused LEAs to miss targets.

We will be discussing reporting and using these new online tools at our 2016 Spring Forums in Sacramento and San Diego - dates to come.

Proposition 39 Citizens Oversight Board to Meet on November 16, 2016

As we informed our members in September, the Citizens Oversight Board will be meeting this month.  Click here for the agenda

Info on joining this meeting in person or by WebEx is below:

November 16, 2015 - 1:00 p.m.

1516 Ninth Street

Art Rosenfeld Hearing Room - First Floor

Sacramento, California 95814

(Wheelchair Accessible)

Remote Access Available by Computer or Phone via WebEx

The Citizens Oversight Board meeting is broadcast via WebEx; the Energy Commission's on-line meeting service. To listen to the meeting and view any presentations, please click the following link or paste it into your browser:

Computer Log on with a Direct Phone Number:

- Please go to and enter the unique meeting number

924 376 893.

- When prompted, enter your information and the following meeting password COBMeeting#2 . (Please note that password is case sensitive.)

For more information:

(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)



August 28, 2015: Prop 39 COB to meet on September 8, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.

1516 Ninth Street

Art Rosenfeld Hearing Room - First Floor Sacramento, California 95814 (Wheelchair Accessible)


Remote Access Available by Computer or Phone via WebEx

Presentations and audio from the meeting will be broadcast via our WebEx web meeting service. For additional details on how to participate via WebEx, please see the notice at:

Computer Log on with a Direct Phone Number:

- Please go to and enter the unique meeting number

929 672 836.

- When prompted, enter your information and the following meeting password mtg@01pm . (Please note that password is case sensitive.)


For more information:

August 20, 2015: Press Release by Senator de Leon:  Schools, Job Creators, Economists Applaud Prop 39 Implementation


SACRAMENTO – Schools, economists and job creators are speaking up about the benefits California communities are seeing sixteen months after Proposition 39 Projects have started. Over three years, Prop 39 has brought a total of $2.35 billion in revenue back to California that would otherwise have been pocketed by out-of-state corporations. A timeline as well as revenue and project numbers can be found below.


Anna Ferrera, Executive Director of the School Energy Coalition:
“On behalf of the School Energy Coalition an organization made up of K-12 schools, community colleges, school construction and energy consultants focused on energy and water efficiency and renewable generation projects for California’s students, we are working on hundreds of great school district projects statewide that are moving forward under this program.  The revenue allocated to K-14 schools through Proposition 39 is successfully providing funding for energy efficiency projects will ultimately pay back schools and taxpayers in real dollar savings over time and lower our use of energy – which is a wise environmental choice for our community and our state. Much data and analysis that must be done before installation or construction so that the projects deliver the savings promised, and you just cannot rush that. Communities around schools are very involved, excited and grateful for this opportunity, along with employees and others that are assisting to support these projects so that they deliver the efficiencies that we have promised our teachers students, community and state.”

To view the SEC letter to the Senator in its entirety, please click here.

To view the press release in its entirety, please click here.



August 18, 2015: MEMBER ACTION ALERT  


We are extremely concerned about an August 17, 2015 AP article that calls into question the savings and oversight of the Proposition 39 Program.  We need to act now to show the Legislature and the Governor that we are moving forward with energy projects that will provide energy and dollar savings that represent a wise taxpayer investment in schools.


Click here to view the article.


The State needs to hear from individual school districts to continue the program and its focus on schools.  The Legislature and the Governor need to hear from us now on this issue or schools may be in danger of losing future allocations of these funds in our final two years of the program.  


We are asking you to please click here to view a template for a letter to Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon TODAY along with Speaker Toni Atkins, the Governor and the Energy Commission.  Please also add SEC to the cc's on your letter as indicated in the template.

Click here to see pictures of Proposition 39 projects.  If you wish to add yours to the list, please email your Prop 39 project pictures to Aileen.


If you don't have all of the dollar or savings figures ready for the letter, whatever type of project you envision will do.  Time is of the essence.  They need to know you intend to use the funding and that the program is indeed working to move school projects forward in a responsible way. 


We know it is a busy time, but this response is vital. We have tried to make it as easy as possible. Use the template to forward two separate letters on your district's letterhead to the Senate President Pro Tem and the Governor's office to Aileen Dalen at  We will get your letters to the Governor and Senate pro Tem de Leon, as well as the cc's.


If you need assistance, please contact Aileen.


Thank you.


Anna M. Ferrera

Executive Director

(916) 441-3300

August 19, 2015: Response from Kate Gordon to the AP

I’m newly back from vacation and was all primed to write about climate shenanigans in Washington State; California’s efforts to get to 50 percent renewables, efficiency, and cuts in petroleum use by 2030 (all very doable according to UCS among others); and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to the U.S.

But these lofty plans were disrupted this week by the appearance of an AP article evaluating the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, or Proposition 39.

Despite several major inaccuracies and incomplete assertions, the article has gone viral, perhaps because it includes the phrase “green jobs”—two words that seem to bring out the worst of the anti-clean energy crowd. As someone who worked tirelessly to implement Proposition 39, and who has been appointed to the Prop 39 Citizen Oversight Board, I feel it’s my duty to clear up some of the confusion.


The reporter’s first mistake: to claim to be evaluating the program after three years of operation.  In fact, funding has only been flowing from the CEC for 13 months. Because the program is funded through tax receipts, the state had to wait for the first tax year after the election to end before initiating the program; meanwhile, the legislature and CEC had to fulfill their democratic duty of passing and implementing the program details and enshrining these into law.

Evaluating Proposition 39 after just over a year of its 5-year operation is like calling the Super Bowl after just a week of preseason games. It’s simply not reasonable—especially since the projects that have been done under the proposition thus far are mostly those in the smallest districts, while the larger districts with much larger and more extensive projects (think LAUSD, Oakland, San Jose) waited until they had amassed several years of funding in order to propose their projects, and many must wait til next winter or summer break to start construction.

Another mistake: to denigrate the fact that a portion of the funds have gone to “consultants and auditors” rather than to construction costs. Energy projects are complex and require expertise, and at the very least require an audit to determine where funds would be best spent to save the maximum amount of energy and dollars. I personally wouldn’t do an energy retrofit without a professional audit, and I would hope my school district would take a similarly prudent approach. We should celebrate these schools’ planning and deliberation, not denigrate it. Moreover, many of those dreaded “consultants” are members of the non-profit California Conservation Corps, which is providing audits for the lower-income districts and training at-risk youth to do energy efficiency work. Is the AP saying that schools like Helen Wilcox School in Oroville, north of Sacramento, shouldn’t get new and more efficient lights simply because the work is being done by CCC members and not creating any traditional “new jobs”?

And finally: the reporter's mistaken claims about the Oversight Board. The AP piece has many other inconsistencies and errors that I won’t get into here, but I can’t leave this one alone. Yes, it’s true that the oversight board has never met. But that’s not because we’re just a “rubber stamp” created by the political process—it’s because under the CEC’s regulations, we aren’t supposed to meet til this fall, when we’ll be able to review and discuss the first tranche of data from the hundreds of completed Prop 39 projects that have been underway across the state during the past year. That’s right: I said hundreds of completed projects. You can find a full list of them on the CEC site here, along with the fact that they’ve already saved the state’s schools over $25 million in energy costs.

I’m looking forward to that fall Citizen Oversight Board meeting, where our discussion—unlike the AP article—will be based on real data and solid information. I hope to see many of you there. 

To read Kate's response in it's entirety, please click here.


SEC To Provide Education at the Green California Schools & Community Colleges Summit & Expo!


The School Energy Coalition (SEC) is pleased to have been invited to present at the Green California Schools and Community Colleges Summit and Exposition taking place at the Pasadena Convention Center on October 29-30, 2015.


This year SEC, in partnership with the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.), will provide two excellent workshops that will include panels of green school facility experts as follows:


The Water/Energy Nexus for School Sites

This SEC and C.A.S.H. session will provide an update on the two highest priority environmental concerns for school facilities in California: Energy and Water. The Proposition 39 program and new state water regulations (Governor's Executive Order B-29-15) present challenges and opportunities for schools seeking to comply with new requirements while meeting safety concerns. If done correctly, project funding and utility savings for schools await! Join us and find out what you need to know to access funding and manage resources and investments wisely, from agency representatives and experts in the field – including case studies from schools that are moving forward with these projects.


Money, Money, Money, for Green Projects

This SEC and C.A.S.H. workshop will focus on providing timely information on state and federal funding for energy and water projects in light of new water mandates and the state’s goals to address climate change. Hear the latest information on the November 2016 State School Bond Initiative, local bonds, new funding available for water and energy projects in the 2015-16 State Budget, the Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan, federal Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB) and Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs). We will discuss how schools are moving forward with new and existing school projects through accessing these funds. Also, free feasibility studies for solar projects that may move schools to zero-net energy (ZNE) and more rebate funding! Don’t leave money on the table – leading experts on school facilities will show you how they are accessing these funds and programs.


For more information about the Green California Schools & Community Colleges Summit & Expo being held on October 29-30 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California, go to:

Keynotes and exhibit hall are free. For more information and to register, go to or call 626-577-5700.

Carl Smith

Editor in Chief



August 12, 2015: 2015–16 Proposition 39 - California Clean Energy Jobs Act, Election to Receive Two Years of Funding in the Current Year


LEAs with 1,000 or less ADA reported as of the second principal apportionment for the prior year are eligible to receive in the current year both the current and subsequent year Proposition 39 award allocations. The purpose of this e-mail is to notify eligible LEAs that the 2015–16 Proposition 39 web-based application to elect to receive two years of funding is now available at:

Those eligible LEAs will receive an e-mail, addressed to the LEA contact identified in the California School Directory, with instructions on accessing the Proposition 39 web-based application. The due date to make this election is Tuesday, September 1, 2015.

Please note that the California Department of Education (CDE) has not completed the Proposition 39 award allocation calculations for the 2015–16 fiscal year, and the CDE cautions districts’ reliance on calculations and/or estimates by other entities. The calculation will not be possible to complete until such time as the CDE knows the number of LEAs with 1,000 or less ADA that choose to receive both their current and subsequent year award allocations as allowed by Public Resources Code Section 26233(c). Once the eligible LEAs make their elections, award allocations will be proportionately calculated for the remaining LEAs. Award allocation information will be available by late November 2015.

If you have questions on the Proposition 39 Guidelines or Energy Expenditure Plans, please contact the Energy Commission by phone at 855-380-8722 or by e-mail at

Questions:   Rebecca Lee | | 916-324-4533

Click here to view the announcement in its entirety.


July 24, 2015: BSC Update

For your information, the Building Standards Commission has released a bulletin regarding the Emergency Building Standards for Immediate Enforcement - Outdoor Landscape Irrigation for K-12 Public Schools and Community Colleges that was approved at the July 21, 2015 meeting. Click here to view the Bulletin.



July 8, 2015: New Water Regulations for Schools On Their Way to the Building Standards Commission on July 21, 2015


SEC has been invited to meetings with the Division of the State Architect (DSA) and other stakeholders regarding new rules to lower potable water consumption on school sites.


As a result of our discussions, many changes have been made.  The rules, which originally were going to include existing schools, now are directed at new school construction and plan approvals when new buildings are being added to existing sites. 


We successfully discussed self-certification of landscaping plans as well as questions regarding the breadth of the landscaping required for new buildings on existing sites.


The code changes to Title 24 of the Building Standards Code (BSC) originally proposed a 1:1 square footage ratio of any new building footprint over 1,000 square feet to new, or rehabilitation of, landscaping areas in the project's scope of site work that must comply with the Model Water Efficient Landscaping Ordinance (MWELO).


Following discussions with stakeholders, DSA most recently proposed revisions to modify the water efficiency requirements previously approved to take the 1:1 ratio down to a 75% of footprint ratio for landscaping that will need to be done when adding a new building to an existing site. 


SEC will address other issues in comments before final approval before the Building Standards Commission (BSC) on July 21, 2015.


In response to the current drought state of emergency and Governor Brown's Executive Order B-29-15, the latest proposed changes to the 2013 California Green Building Standards (CALGreen) Code require reduction in outdoor potable water use for all new building construction, and for additions over 1,000 square feet. The revisions address applicability of irrigation requirements to existing sites, and outline project fees.


DSA will present the proposed changes at the next BSCmeeting. Upon adoption, the new CALGreen requirements will apply to school construction projects submitted to DSA. Stay Tuned.



July 8, 2015: SEC Comments on Turf Replacement Program


The Department of Water Resources (DWR) presented a preliminary outline of a $3 million turf replacement program for Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) Turf Replacement Program being launched by the state with the California Conservation Corps.  Public entities are encouraged to couple this funding with other local and regional programs in their area.


These turf program funds have been mostly designated for Disadvantaged Communities (DAC) in the San Joaquin Valley area.  We have been told that the exact terms and conditions of the program are being worked on and are expected within 1-2 weeks. We hope to share more at the upcoming SEC/ C.A.S.H. Joint Water Workshop at the Kern County Office of Education on August 12.  More information will be sent in the next week or so.


SEC has submitted comments to DWR to share that the need goes way beyond the funding for schools that are already under multiple mandates for water conservation and efficiency. 


This is the start of hopefully many more programs addressing various water concerns and the nexus between water and energy.  SEC will continue to be on the lookout for more of these programs being funded through the Proposition 1 Water Bond.

July 8, 2015: A-6 Solar Rate


PG&E is proposing to reduce the Schedule A-6 solar rate to a maximum of 75 kW from the current maximum of 500 kW. As we know, school districts have invested in solar and energy conservation measures as a way to save money on their electricity bills and to give themselves greater long-term control over energy price inflation.  


A-6 is an energy conservation and solar-friendly rate that played into the decisions of districts to invest in these measures which may now be limiting this investment outlook.


SEC has been weighing in on this issue with the CPUC, making the case that schools would like to continue to assist in achieving state goals and moving priorities through energy diversity and efficiency. 


With many districts making significant energy saving and clean energy investments using Proposition 39 funds and leveraging other funding sources, they need to know that the State continues to support these investments.  Click here to view the letter SEC submitted to the CPUC last year.  We continue to support and advocate this position at the Commission.


We will keep you posted on how this proceeding moves forward. 


May 28, 2015: SWRCB Announces Funding Allocations for DROPS

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has adopted Guidelines for the Drought Response Outreach Program for Schools (DROPS). DROPS is focused on projects that reduce stormwater pollution and provide multiple benefits including water conservation, water supply augmentation, energy savings, increased awareness of water resource sustainability, and reduced dry weather runoff. All projects must include an education/outreach component that is designed to increase student and public understanding of the project's environmental benefits and the sustainability of California's water resources directly related to the project.  Click here to view the DROPS Funding List.


April 23, 2015: Green Ribbon Schools

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is in its fourth year continues to honor schools and districts.  They  have added a third category to this year's cycle: the Postsecondary Sustainability Award.  So this year, for the first time, you can learn the full spectrum of sustainability work in schools, from early learning to postsecondary.  This is a great way spotlight the promising practices of our honorees.   Click here to view the California honorees.

California drought spurs LA Unified water conservation efforts

As California considers emergency legislation to solve the drought crisis, LA Unified is working with city and state agencies to reduce water consumption across campuses by ripping out water-sucking grass lawns in place of native plants, swapping outdated toilets for low-flush units and recycling gray water throughout neighboring school communities.

As the largest district in the state, LA Unified consumes annually about 2.5 billion gallons of water — equivalent to the capacity of the Hollywood Reservoir.  Read more here...


March 6, 2015: Oakland USD Now Generating Clean Power

"Oakland Unified School District wants to reduce its impact on the environment through the use of clean renewable energy, which also dramatically reduces utility expenses and energy use, providing us with the savings to enhance academic programs and support our teachers," said OUSD Superintendent Antwan Wilson. "We are also excited to be working with SunPower in an effort to expand the learning opportunities for our students and expose them to linked learning initiatives that will help them become college and career ready."

March 2, 2015: The new Energy Expenditure Plan Online system is now available!


On Friday (February 27, 2015), each Local Educational Agency (LEA) was sent a "Welcome to Energy Expenditure Plan Online" e-mail that included the web address link to the Energy Expenditure Plan Online System. If your LEA did not receive the "Welcome" e-mail, please contact the Proposition 39 Hotline, toll-free at 855-380-8722, or for those out-of-state at (916) 653-0392.


With the web address link, your LEA can now submit Energy Expenditure Plan applications under the approved 2015 Guideline rules. The new online application system is user friendly and employs a streamlined process to submit all the elements of your Energy Expenditure Plan for review and approval.


Also important: The Energy Commission included a short survey in the "Welcome to Energy Expenditure Plan Online" e-mail.  Your input has helped to shape an energy project program that works best for California schools.  Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback.


Finally, please contact the Proposition 39 Hotline, toll-free at 855-380-8722, or for those out-of-state at (916) 653-0392, if you did not receive yesterday's "Welcome to Energy Expenditure Plan Online" e-mail.



For more information:

(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)


January 30, 2015: CEC Announcement

The new Energy Expenditure Plan Online Application System, the revised Energy Expenditure Plan Handbook, and revised Energy Savings Calculator tool (Version 6) are targeted for launch at end of February 2015. At that time, the Energy Commission will post on the Proposition 39 Web page all revised program materials and

send each Local Educational Agency (LEA) a "Welcome" Email.


Only after the new online application system is launched, may LEAs submit Energy Expenditure Plan applications under the newly approved 2015 Guideline rules.  Also, at that time, only the revised Version 6 of the Energy Savings Calculator tool can be used in combination with the Energy Expenditure Plan online application. Finally, Proposition 39 training seminars are planned for Spring 2015 to educate LEAs on the new application system.


Prior to availability of the new Energy Expenditure Plan Online Application System, LEAs may continue to submit Energy Expenditure Plan applications using the existing Expenditure Plan General Form A and Expenditure Plan Project Summary Form B Excel spreadsheets.  However, these applications cannot reflect the rule changes just adopted on December 10, 2014, and must follow the Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act - 2013 Program Implementation Guidelines (June 2014 version).


Questions may be directed to or the Proposition 39 Hotline, toll-free at 855-380-8722, or for those out-of-state at (916) 653-0392.


Governor Brown's State Budget Proposal

Governor Jerry Brown announced his January Budget Proposal and the opening round of numbers to start the State's budget process for 2015-16.  The Proposal provides $368 million in 2015-16 for Proposition 39 funding and continues its focus on K-14 projects. 


Although these initial figures are higher than last year's budget, SEC will seek to find out more information regarding the corporate tax revenue figures that feed into the Proposition 39 program allocation.  The measure requires half of the increased revenues, up to $550 million per year, to be used to support energy efficiency through 2017-18.  


As recently as January 7, there was a surge in reported corporate tax revenue to the state.  This revenue is the source of the funding for the Clean Energy Jobs Creation Fund created by Proposition 39.  (Click here to view a SacBee article). 


Recall that the Governor and the Legislature directed that the Proposition 39 funding be focused on K-14 school projects only, to be determined on an annual basis in the State Budget process - and each Local Education Agency (LEA) has an individual allocation reserved for them.  This funding must be accessed by LEAs before 2017-18.


In 2013-14 - the first full year of revenue under this measure - K-14 schools were allocated $428 million: $381 million for K-12.


In 2014-15 the K-14 funding was reduced to $344.5 million: $279 million for K-12.


The Governor proposes in 2015-16 to allocate the $368 million of Proposition 39 energy efficiency funds - $320.1 for K-12 as follows:

  • $320.1 million K-12 school districts
  • $39.6 million to community college districts
  • $5.3 million to the California Conservation Corps for continued technical assistance to K-12 school districts.
  • $3 million to the Workforce Investment Board for continued implementation of the job-training program


At this time there is no mention of ECAA low interest loan program funding. 


The Environment Protection section of the State Budget proposal includes $20 million to the California Energy Commission for "energy efficient public buildings" under the Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan and $1.7 billion to implement the state's Water Bond Action Plan.

Calling his proposed budget "tightly balanced" the Governor indicated that he would be discussing a school facilities funding process with school districts, labor, builders, and other stakeholders, but no state school bond was included in this proposal.


Michael Cohen of the State's Department of Finance spoke after the Governor, saying that they will be further refining these budget numbers in the May Revision.  

SEC will certainly be asking questions of the state regarding other revenue such as tax deferrals that should be added to the 2014-15 funding and whether there needs to be a "true-up" of that year's funding in addition to this year's allocation.

The School Energy Coalition is the only school-based organization that is focused on funding, technical assistance and program flexibility for K-14 energy and water projects.  We need your continued support as we enter into budget discussions, utility savings, rate protection and future funding in this area. 


Your comments and concerns are appreciated and encouraged please feel free to contact me at

December 23, 2014: SEC Federal Energy News for Schools

Tax Extenders Package Signed by President - An opportunity to make some of them permanent in the New Year

The Senate has approved the one-year tax extenders package already cleared by the House, and sent the measure to the President for signature.  Tax extenders are a hodge-podge of tax expenditures or tax breaks for certain purposes that have only been authorized for a year or two at a time. 

Essentially, this current short-term deal restores, for this year, an array of credits and deductions that expired at the end of 2013.  Thus they will expire again in two weeks.  However, the legislation could save businesses and individuals billions as they file their current year's taxes over the coming months.

Congressional leaders earlier this month neared an agreement that would have made some of the most popular business provisions permanent.  Under threat of veto from the White House, negotiations collapsed, paving the way for this short-term solution.

It also paves the way for Republicans, who will soon take control of both chambers of Congress, to take a fresh look at which extenders to make permanent -- and which ones to eliminate -- sometime next year.

Section 179D -- Incentive Energy Efficiency for Public Buildings in Package

Within this package is an extension for a program related to Section 179D of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

179D is a Federal incentive for "owners" and "designers" to make commercial and government buildings more energy efficient. Public buildings have no tax liability so in 2008 Congress specified that public owners could allocate this deduction to "designers" of the qualifying energy saving buildings.

Per IRS Notice 2008-40 definition: A designer is a person thatcreates the technical specifications for installation of energy efficient commercial building property... A designer may include, for example, an architect, engineer, contractor, environmental consultant or energy services provider who creates the technical specifications.

The 3 areas available for this program are: Lighting, HVAC, and Building Envelope.

Once enacted into law, the 179D Tax Deduction will be available for all projects placed into service during the 2014 tax year.

The bill would also extend bonus depreciation at 50% (percent). Additionally, a 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant building improvements, and qualified retail improvements would be extended.

The House Ways and Means Committee estimated the cost of HR 5771 at $44.7 billion over 10 years.

Federal Energy Efficiency Bill -- Advocacy Opportunity for Schools

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Ron Portman took to the Senate floor again last night to try passing a smaller version of their energy efficiency bill that already cleared the House, but it did not go through. It will likely be re-introduced in the next year and this may provide an opportunity for advocacy for federal funding of school energy efficiency projects and installations.

The reintroduced Shaheen-Portman legislation used a variety of low-cost tools to help energy users become more efficient while making the country's largest energy user - the federal government - reduce its energy use through the use of energy-efficient technology. 

The deficit neutral bill would have incentivized the use of efficiency technologies that are commercially available today, be widely deployed across the country, and quickly pay for themselves through energy savings.  

The reintroduced bill incorporates an additional ten bipartisan amendments that would have helped the United States transition to a more energy-efficient economy while driving economic growth and private sector job creation.

A study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) estimates that Shaheen-Portman would have created more than 190,000 jobs, saved consumers $16.2 billion a year, and cut CO2 emissions and other air pollutants by the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road - all by 2030.

Senator Murkowski noted that "it's with regret that I say we'll take it up again next year. But my hope is that we will do right by our energy policy." 

The Senate won't meet again until the 114th Congress begins at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 6.  SEC may want to seek out opportunities for language that directly addresses school facilities or installations in this bill.

December 23, 2014 DROPS Update

SEC met with the State Department of Water Resources and the Division of the State Architect (DSA) last week on questions potential school applicants were having that were interested in applying for the Drought Response Outreach Program for Schools (DROPS) program. 


The focus of the discussion was on whether these projects trigger ADA access rules under DSA.  As a result of our discussion, DSA agreed to review the types of projects that are being considered under the DROPS program and will be issuing some preliminary guidance regarding these projects so schools are aware of the potential state and federal obligations, if any. 


SEC also discussed whether deadline extensions might be considered as we wait for this information, it was agreed that we will wait to hear from DSA first on this issue.  Perhaps in the first week of January.  Because the January 15 deadline still stands - schools should move forward with their applications until we hear otherwise.


DROPS is focused on projects that reduce stormwater pollution and provide multiple benefits including water conservation, water supply augmentation, energy savings, increased awareness of water resource sustainability, and reduced dry weather runoff.  Currently, the deadline for these applications is January 15.


All projects must include an education/outreach component that is designed to increase student and public understanding of the project's environmental benefits and the sustainability of California's water resources directly related to the project.  This may also present an access requirement, according to DSA because when a project is considered educational - potentially even something like an informational placard in front of a stormwater drainage area describing its use and benefit to the environment for students - it may be required to have access.


We will continue to keep you informed as this program moves forward.


Click here for more information on the DROPS program. 

December 12, 2014: CEC Approves Revised Guidelines

The School Energy Coalition (SEC) is pleased to report that we are starting the year with another success!!  The SEC-supported proposed California Energy Commission (CEC) Guidelines to implement the K-14 Proposition 39 Program were approvedtoday at 12:30 p.m. at the Commission's Business Meeting at the agency's headquarters in Sacramento. 

SEC had already done the legwork to ensure that our concerns were addressed and provided follow-up input and letters to the Commission.

Anna Ferrera was there in-person today to provide testimony on behalf of our statewide members and our organization which is focused on energy efficiency & renewable projects for California's students. 

Text of our SEC testimony below:


"We are pleased to share our strong support for the proposed CEC guidelines being considered today - especially the broadening of the SIR formula to include LEA-wide projects under one energy expenditure plan submittal.

This change will go a long way to allow schools to meet the SIR requirements and receive approval of their EEPs. 

SEC is also very appreciative that additional contract language referencing the Public Contract Code was removed in the interest of clarity and to limit confusion. 

We support the direction of the new SIR formula for PPAs in the hopes that it will work better for schools that have already done efficiency work and want to have this option.  Although we understand there are some concerns remaining with this language.

We stand ready to assist the Commission as you continue to process school applications for this funding and to share more information regarding projects moving forward - along with any concerns or challenges that may surface as LEAs move through the funding process. 

Finally, we are pleased to see that funding approvals are now moving out from your agency at a faster pace with over 200 plans approved as of this week covering 606 schools statewide.

We thank you and your staff for your efforts to understand how school facilities work in California.  We appreciate your hard work to make this program more effective for LEAs while acknowledging that flexibility is needed as schools have varying histories with energy installations and come in all sizes and configurations."

Stay tuned for more information on how these new Guidelines are being implemented and when new forms and other online reporting infrastructures will be available. See the most current information from CEC below.



The CEC released an announcement today regarding initial timeline for Guidelines is as follows:

Many Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) are now asking - "When can we apply under the new Guidelines?"

In February 2015, the Energy Commission will release a new Proposition 39 program On-line Energy Expenditure Plan Application System. Starting at that time, LEAs may submit Energy Expenditure Plan applications under the newly approved 2015 Guidelines.  In addition, Proposition 39 training seminars are planned for early 2015 to train LEAs on the new application system. An updated Energy Expenditure Plan Handbook is also planned for release at that time, providing easy to use instructions on the new application system.

Until the release of the new on-line application system (targeted for February 2015) LEAs may continue to submit Energy Expenditure Plan applications using the existing Expenditure Plan General Form A and Expenditure Plan Project Summary Form B Excel spreadsheets.  However, these applications cannot reflect the rule changes just adopted on December 10, 2014, and must follow the Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act - 2013 Program Implementation Guidelines (June 2014 version). 

Only when the new on-line Energy Expenditure Plan Application System is operational, will LEAs be allowed to apply for Proposition 39 program awards under the newly adopted 2015 Guidelines. Questions may be directed to the Proposition 39 Hotline, toll-free at 855-380-8722 or out-of-state at (916) 653-0392.

For more information:

(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)


December 12, 2014: News on the Proposition 39 Citizens Oversight Board Shared at the CEC Meeting

Kate Gordon called in to today's CEC Business Meeting to make supportive remarks with regard to Guideline changes and for the work agency staff has done with schools.  Kate is the VP and Director of the Climate Change Program at Next Generation, the non-profit organization founded by Tom Steyer - who helped draft Proposition 39. 

Kate has participated in SEC events on Proposition 39 in the past and we hope to continue that good relationship going forward now that she has been appointed to the Proposition 39 Citizens Oversight Board (COB). 

Kate reports that although the group has not met yet, it probably will soon given that all the Board members have now been appointed by the State Treasurer and the Controller. 

Other Members of the COB:

  • Steven Sakurai, CFO of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

  • James "Walkie" Ray, Engineer & Partner, Sanderson J. Ray Development

  • Dana Cuff, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, UCLA

  • Gary Kremen, Chairman, Sociogramics

  • Erik Emblem, Administrator and COO, Western States Council - Sheet Metal Workers


December 8, 2014: CEC Business Meeting to Review Proposed Revisions to Proposition 39 Guidelines

Click here to view the notice of the December 10, 2014 Business Meeting.  The meeting is available to view online.

December 5, 2014: Proposition 39 Update

The week before Thanksgiving, SEC determined that the Contracts section on page 36 of the proposed Proposition 39 Guidelines would have potentially required project awards of over $15,000 to be competitively bid. 

SEC is pleased to inform you now that - after meeting with staff from the California Department of Education (CDE), the California Energy Commission (CEC), and key state Legislators, while providing this letter on the issue - the proposed language in the Contracts section was removed from the language that will be going to the General Business meeting on December 10 for approval by the CEC Commissioners.

This change in the state's direction came about solely because SEC elevated this issue. 

Now - SEC has successfully argued against the proposed Contract language, but LEAs are not out of the woods yet.  More attempts to change or clarify this program could work against LEAs.  

One of the arguments made against the proposed changes is that competitive bidding had been considered and rejected in the budget process and in the legislative process for an implementing bill.  This could, however, be changed with new legislation.  SEC will remain vigilant on the issue of contracting under Proposition 39 to ensure that these projects retain their current flexibility in the awarding of these funds.

It is very likely that President Pro Tempore de Leon, or another legislative member, will introduce bills seeking to "fix" the problem of defining a non-sole source process, perhaps with competitive bidding.  There are also other ways that new interpretations of the non-sole source process may be articulated under Proposition 39 that we will need to watch for closely. 

These interpretations may come through agencies with jurisdiction over funding or audits with regard to the Proposition 39 program or, for example, audit guidance that may be drafted by the state's Education Audit Appeals Panel (EAAP). 

This proposed language could have added a layer of complexity to the contracting process for LEAs and to the auditing process for these energy projects, above and beyond what is currently required, under the Proposition 39 program. 

CEC Releases Substantive Changes on September 26, 2014

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has begun a comprehensive substantive changes input process for the Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act 2015 Program Implementation Guidelines.

The proposed draft revisions are now available online at:

Click here to view the letter SEC wrote to CEC in anticipation of revisions to the Prop 39 Guidelines. Feel free to use the SEC letter as a template for your own letter to the Energy Commission. 

The CEC has invited the public to provide comments through October 27,2014, by emailing  In the email subject line, please indicate Prop 39 13-CCEJA-01.


August 28, 2014: State Approves $66 Million in Prop 39 Money More than 75 energy plans approved by California Energy Commission in first fiscal year

SACRAMENTO - 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," said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the agency's lead on energy efficiency issues. "The Energy Commission and Local Education Agencies are taking the lessons learned over the last year and working to streamline the application process, adapt it to best meet schools' needs, and ensure overall program success. Prop 39 allows schools to apply for funding over the next four years so that they can continue making improvements - and then spend the savings to educate students."

Read more here...

August 15, 2014: California Regulators Approve PG&E Rate Hike

SAN FRANCISCO —California regulators have approved a nearly $2.4 billion rate hike for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers that will see the typical customer's monthly bill increase by $7.50 starting in the fall.

The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously in favor of the increase on Thursday. It will be phased in over three years.

According to PG&E, the average residential customer's $129 monthly gas and electricity bill will climb by $7.50. Part of the increase is expected to go into effect in September, with the rest following in October.


August 12, 2014: California community colleges green-energy projects get $45 million boost

California's community colleges are getting greener with the help of a clean-energy tax measure that brought them $40 million in the past academic year alone for infrastructure upgrades and $5 million for green-jobs training. Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury.

August 8, 2014: CEC Issues EEP Notice

Please be aware of the following notice issued by the CEC -  Friday, August 8, 2014. 


The CEC is directly requesting that ALL Energy Expenditure Plans (EEP) submitted for review for funding approval MUST contain information articulated in Chapter 6 of the EEP Handbook. 


**Please make sure you have included this information or you may have your EEP returned to you as incomplete. 


Also -- Be sure you are reviewing the requirements in Chapter 6 (pages 58-63) of the Handbook, NOT the Guidelines.  This chapter was recently added to the Handbook (July 30, 2014).


Use the July 2014 Version of the PROPOSITION 39:  California Clean Energy Jobs Act - 2013 ENERGY EXPENDITURE PLAN HANDBOOK (Revised) - click here to view the current version.  


According to the CEC, the "Commission has received many EEPs with no project descriptions, studies or calculations, and only spreadsheets and incentive documents as back up documentation. Often the data is not identified with a particular project or school site. These submittals make review and approval difficult and time-consuming, requiring back and forth communication among Energy Commission staff, the LEA and the energy consultant."


Chapter 6 of the CEC July 2014 Handbook specifies the following:


- Facility Background Info

- Energy Efficiency Measurement Summaries

- Grants and Incentives

- Appendices (Baseline Energy Use, Benchmarking, Energy Balance Estimates, and Energy Efficiency Calculations)



July 29, 2014: CEC Update

The California Energy Commission (CEC) sent the following message regarding the window for annual Energy Expenditure Plan (EEP) submittal for 2013-14:


The last day for LEAs to submit their fiscal year 2013-14 is August 31, 2014.  EEPs received by the Energy Commission starting September 1, 2014 will be considered fiscal year 2014-15 submittals and should be designated as such on Form A. 


As of September 1, 2014, the CEC will no longer accept EEPs designated fiscal year 2013-14. 


The Energy Commission will revise EEPs submitted on or after September 1, 2014 with an inaccurately dated Form A.  Please remember that the Energy Commission will only accept one EEP per fiscal year.

LEAs' unused California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) awards roll forward each fiscal year. LEAs that do not submit an EEP in fiscal year 2013-14 will not lose their entitlements. This extension does not impact multi-year EEP submittals. 

Click here for the most recent approvals.

June 19, 2014: State Budget

The State Budget provides $279 million for Proposition 39 K-12 grants, to be allocated on a per-ADA basis, plus $28 million for the Energy Conservation Assistance Act (ECAA) loan program, which is administered by the California Energy Commission.  

The Conference Committee did not change their prior action to adopt the $111 million in lower Proposition 39 funds plus a shift of $28 million from school district grants to the ECAA loans from the California Energy Commission. The effect is to reduce per pupil grants by approximately $21 below the current year (2013-14) grant amounts.

Also of note, the California Energy Commission has updated the number of EEPs approved on their website.  There are now 16 projects approved.  Click here to access the website, then see in the upper right hand corner the link leading to the updated listing of projects.


June 12, 2014: Budget deal gives 25 percent of cap-and-trade money to high-speed rail

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders have agreed to a proposal to use 25 percent of future cap-and-trade revenue - money polluters pay to offset carbon emissions - to provide ongoing funding for construction of California's high-speed rail project, according to part of a budget deal legislators will consider Thursday, sources said.

The amount falls short of the 33 percent Brown originally sought but is more than the Senate Democrats proposed.

The use of cap-and-trade money is one of the most controversial elements remaining in a spending plan Brown and lawmakers are finalizing this week. Lawmakers are expected to finish committee work on the budget Thursday, with floor votes Sunday, the constitutional deadline.

Cap-and-trade auctions could generate as much as $1 billion in 2014-15. The deal lawmakers are considering for the $68 billion high-speed rail calls for ongoing funding beginning in the 2015-16 budget year.

In addition to high-speed rail, the deal calls for 15 percent of cap-and-trade revenue to go to other transportation projects and 20 percent to go to affordable housing projects and other programs that help reduce greenhouse gases.

The remaining 40 percent of cap-and-trade revenue would go to various transportation, natural resources, energy and other projects.


June 3, 2014: Budget and CEC Update

We have been meeting this week with state representatives on budget and legislative issues regarding funding for Proposition 39 energy projects. 


With regard to the budget deliberations and the potential transfer of $28 million of grant funds to the ECAA low interest loan program, SEC has sent a letter to the Budget Conference Committee which begin their deliberations tomorrow. Click here to view. 


CEC Announcement Addresses Future Substantive Guideline Changes


The Energy Commission has sent out a short notice today regarding a proposed substantive change to the Proposition 39 Guidelines to be addressed at a June 18 Business Meeting. The change is related to eligibility requirements applicable to LEAs that occupy leased publicly-owned facilities, leased privately-owned facilities and their own private facilities. We are being told that this is the only substantive change to the guidelines that will be addressed at this upcoming meeting.


The interesting thing about this posting is that it goes on to give us a glimpse of how the CEC may be addressing some of our larger or more substantive concerns regarding their Proposition 39 Guidelines in the future.


In particular, the statement goes on to say that:


"The Energy Commission is planning a comprehensive substantive changes cycle for the Guidelines beginning in the Fall of 2014, with completion near the end of the year. Staff has been compiling requested changes since the Guidelines were adopted in December 2013. More details of this process and the schedule will be posted on the Commission's Proposition 39 Web page and sent to the list serve." 

Emphasis ours. 


In particular, it is concerning that the plan appears to be that any other substantive issues related to the CEC Guidelines may not be addressed until Fall. 


SEC has had a large role in providing input to the relevant agencies on the issues facing schools in moving plans forward thus far and have been in communication with CEC on the future process for changes to the Guidelines.  


To that end, SEC is also working on a school survey on Proposition 39 process with the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) to find out where California's schools are in the funding process and to pinpoint some of the bottlenecks and challenges they are facing so we might address them with the State earlier.


Please help us inform those who can make changes and return the survey promptly when it reaches you.  We hope to have it ready in the next two weeks.


Please stay tuned and encourage your neighboring schools to join us as SEC moves forward.  We are the primary organization that advocates for schools on these energy project funding issues.


June 9, 2014: CDE Green Schools Social Media

CDE announces that the School Facilities and Transportation Services Division’s first social media effort is now underway! California Green Ribbon Schools (CA-GRS) is represented on both Facebook and Twitter, with both feeds managed by Lesley Taylor, our program lead. CA-GRS is Superintendent Torlakson’s state-level initiative mirroring U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. As program stakeholders and supporters of green schools, CDE invites you to engage with these resources:

California Green Ribbon Schools on Facebook:

@CAGreenRibbon on Twitter:


May 28, 2014: Budget Update Sent to Members on May 21

On May 21, 2014, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee met to discuss the changes to the Governor's 2014-15 Budget Proposal in the May Revision announced earlier this week.


As we informed you, the Governor has added an additional $9 million in cuts to the Proposition 39 funding to K-12 and $1.5 million to the portion for Community Colleges for 2014-15.


Click here to see the SEC letter to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education. 


Please use it to write your own letter and add your school's progress on Proposition 39 - whatever that may be - and your own story and details regarding the projects you are trying to move forward and the savings you hope to achieve through the California Energy Commission's (CEC) approval process.  Particularly the difficulty in planning for projects if full funding does not materialize.


The Legislature needs to hear from schools and community colleges directly on the impact of funding reductions now.


Proposition 39 Approval Process


We are continuing our work with all state agencies involved with Proposition 39 to address issues and challenges that LEAs are facing in moving their plans forward.  Remember that the CEC stated when they approved the guidelines that changes could be made to the process in as little as 15-30 days if they agreed with concerns stakeholders are raising.  


A friendly reminder that, once complete, an LEA's approved plan will be batched with others for the processing of warrants at the California Department of Education.  Each step takes time and we urge you to take this into account as you plan your project installations or construction.


We will continue to need your help in articulating any concerns or problems and would appreciate your feedback, no matter how small or large, in this process.


We can change it but we will need your help!


Please email us with your comments and concerns regarding the current approval process.


May 15, 2014: Budget Update

The Assembly Budget Subcommittee is meeting today to discuss the changes to the Governor's 2014-15 Budget Proposal in the May Revision announced earlier this week.

As we informed you, the Governor has added an additional $9 million in cuts to the Proposition 39 funding to K-12 and $1.5 million to the portion for Community Colleges for 2014-15.

Click here to see the SEC letter to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education. 

Please use it to write your own letter and add your school's progress on Proposition 39 - whatever that may be - and your own story and details regarding the projects you are trying to move forward and the savings you hope to achieve through the California Energy Commission's (CEC) approval process.  Particularly the difficulty in planning for projects if full funding does not materialize.

The Legislature needs to hear from schools and community colleges directly on the impact of funding reductions now.



May Revision Update

The Governor's May Revision decreased the amount of funding to Proposition 39 by $9 million for K-12 and $1.5 million for Community Colleges for a total cut of $10.5 million for the 2014-15 budget year to K-14 schools.


The Clean Energy Jobs Act is slated to fund public energy projects for the budget years 2013-14 through 2017-18, through revenue generated from a corporate tax change. The measure requires half of the increased revenues, up to $550 million per year, to be used for this purpose.


The Governor's May Budget of $156.2 billion reflects a 1.3 billion dollar increase over the January estimate of 154.9 billion; however the Governor has chosen to apply new funds to cover recently expanded rolls in the state's Medi-Cal program and to lower long-term debt. 


We will continue to fight to bring Proposition 39 funding back to 2013-14 levels as the State Budget discussions move through the state Legislative process.  We believe the Legislature may feel differently about where to apply the increased revenue.


We urge you to move forward with your plans so we may show the Legislature our progress.  Be aware, however, that funding levels are subject to changes per the State Budget.


As always SEC will have the most up-to-date information on Proposition 39 and school energy project funding and is the lead school organization on this issue in California.  Your support and involvement will be critical as we lead this fight - please ask your neighboring schools to join us if they haven't done so already.


SEC Weighs in on a Solar Rate Deliberation at CPUC

The California Public Utilities Commission is hearing from interested parties regarding a proposed change in eligibility for A-6 solar rates requested by PG&E. 

The change would make this rate available to a much smaller universe of customers – 75 kw and below rather than the existing 499 kw and below.

Click here to view the SEC letter.

We Need Your Help

Please Urge the Governor to Support a School Bond


Letters to the Governor are needed in support of a 2014 State School Bond.  The Legislature appears to be willing to move a bill forward however the Governor needs to hear from schools and the private sector involved with facility projects to move a proposal through to the voters.


SEC is working in conjunction with the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) on a letter-writing campaign to tell the Governor we need a bond on the November 2014 ballot.  We hope a groundswell of communications will convince the Governor of the significant need for an ongoing State-local partnership for the provision of school facilities.


Two possible template letters are identified below - one for LEAs and one for businesses.  It is important to personalize the letter and tell your unique story, highlighting the positive impact a bond would have on your community.  This includes being able to leverage modernization funding with Proposition 39 dollars to have the efficiency effects go further.  (See our SEC letter to the Committee on the bond bill here see text of AB 2235 here.)


Time is of the essence, so please act promptly.  We request that letters be mailed to the Governor's office by Friday, April 18. 


Please copy Aileen Dalen (SEC Staff) at



School District Letter Template

Business Letter Template


Pass the word along!  All members, please reach out to those with whom you do business and request their support.  Associate members, please encourage your clients to draft their own letters.


EPA Announces Winner of Annual Energy Star National Building Competition

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that an elementary school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has won the annual Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. Teams from more than 3,000 buildings across the country spent the past year competing to obtain the greatest reduction in energy use. Claiborne Elementary School won by cutting its energy use nearly in half.

“When we save money on energy costs and increase energy efficiency, we all win,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “I congratulate the competitors and finalists for their dedication to reducing emissions and carbon pollution, and for their leadership in increasing energy efficiency to combat the impacts of our changing climate.”

In support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for buildings to cut waste and become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020, the competition targeted wasted energy in buildings and motivated building owners and occupants to improve energy efficiency, reduce harmful carbon pollution, and save money. Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year.

Together, competitors in this year’s National Building Competition saved more than $20 million and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 130,000 metric tons—equal to the annual electricity use of nearly 18,000 homes. Many organizations used the competition to involve people—such as staff and students—who might not ordinarily be engaged in such efforts.

Read more here...


April 3, 2014: CEC Releases Update


Energy Commission Approves First Wave of Proposition 39 Energy Expenditure Plans


Schools in Alameda County, Temecula and Salinas among the first to have projects approved to receive funding from Department of Education


SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission approved the first set of energy expenditure plans for projects that will be funded by the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39). Schools in Alameda County, Temecula and Salinas will be able to use tens of thousands of dollars for classroom and school facility energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy projects.


"Proposition 39 injects millions into California's schools to upgrade aging heating, air and lighting systems," said Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. "School-by-school, these investments will boost energy efficiency, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."


Local education agencies (LEAs), including county offices of education, school districts, charter schools, and state special schools, are eligible for funding. A total of $381 million is available for the first fiscal year of the Proposition 39 program. Schools can request funding for energy projects by submitting an energy expenditure plan application to the Energy Commission. LEAs have the option to receive part or all of their first-year award allocation for energy planning purposes.


The first schools to get their plans approved will receive the following amounts from California's Department of Education for their energy projects:


 -   Temecula Valley Charter School requested $50,783 to replace its Heating, Ventilation and Air   Conditioning (HVAC) system

 -   Temecula Preparatory Academy requested $50,979 to replace its HVAC system

 -   Alameda County Office of Education requested $28,140 to fund interior and exterior lighting retrofits

 -   Santa Rita Union Elementary School District requested $115,438 to replace its HVAC system and fund interior and exterior light retrofits


"Optimizing energy use in schools can save them money and improve the learning environment for students," said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister. "The Commission's goal is to enable schools to identify good projects and put together a plan, and then expedite the funding approval so construction can begin."


To help schools through the application process, the Energy Commission developed easy-to-use energy savings calculator tools for simple energy projects and applications. Schools can apply for funds using these online resources ( and get advice by calling the toll-free hotline: (855) 380-8722.


"The Commission's online energy savings calculators and other planning tools helped most of these applicants develop their plans for Commission approval," said McAllister.



March 17, 2014: Salinas schools switch on energy saving plans

The Californian posted an article about what Salinas schools want to do with their Proposition 39 awards, click above link to view full article:

“I was at the school board meeting last night and I was glad to hear that we’re one of the schools that will be refurbished,” said Melissa Lewington, Roosevelt principal for the past three years. “It’s a great-looking school and it needs to be preserved.”

"Replacing the windows at Roosevelt and other aging schools is on the priority list in the Salinas City Elementary School District. Officials say those and other improvements will be made once an energy audit is completed and sent to the state."


"Among the priorities in Salinas City are replacing furnaces and windows and upgrading lighting systems in some of the oldest school buildings in the city. The windows at Lincoln and Roosevelt schools, for example, are 60 and 70 years old, Ryan said."

"The Salinas Union High School District is ready to put its Proposition 39 funding to use now. Officials are close to removing some “energy guzzlers” at some schools, said Karen Luna, director of maintenance, planning and facilities."

"That includes removal of old swimming pool pumps at two schools and modernizing lighting systems at several parking lots and buildings, Luna said."


March 3, 2014: CEC Calculators

What's up with the CA Energy Commission's (CEC) Proposition 39 calculators? We have been receiving various reports regarding the Savings-to-Investment Ratio (SIR) calculation along with the energy savings calculators that schools may apply to benchmark or determine energy efficiencies and savings on measures such as lighting or HVAC.

The good news is that although the SIR calculation is mandatory, it is a formula calculation that most schools can do themselves once they have the data required.

As for the 21 calculators for the other energy measures that a school may contemplate for an energy expenditure plan (EEP), Local Education Agencies (LEA) are not required to use those calculators.

According to the CEC, the agency is providing the calculators as "alternative resource tools to LEAs that have limited resources," however, LEAs may prefer to run the energy savings calculations themselves.

Need Some Other Energy Funding Ideas?
Register for the SEC Webinar -- School Roofing Systems and Proposition 39: How it Works - and hear how building envelope projects work with Proposition 39 funding.

If you need a new roof or are wondering if roofing systems qualify for Proposition 39 funding, then this is a great opportunity to generate energy efficiency through an improved building envelope and a major building block for future energy improvements.

We will provide a brief update on Proposition 39 at the end of that presentation.

Register today!

February 19, 2014: CEC Releases Schedule of Training Webinars

Please click here to view the CEC schedule of training webinars.

February 12, 2014: Controller Appoints Three Members to the Citizens Oversight Board


State Controller John Chiang has appointed three members to the board created to oversee Proposition 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act.

Approved by voters in November 2012, Proposition 39 requires multistate businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. Half of the revenue generated will be dedicated to energy efficiency and alternative energy projects, with the remainder earmarked for public schools and community colleges.

Board members appointed by the Controller:

  • Dana Cuff, professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles Read biography
  • Erik Emblem, executive administrator and chief operating officer of the Western States Council-Sheet Metal Workers in Sacramento Read biography
  • Gary Kremen, clean technology engineer, entrepreneur and inventor; founder and Chairman of Sociogramics in Palo Alto Read biography


February 7, 2014

Click here to view the letter SEC sent to the Legislature regarding the Governor's Proposed 2014-15 State Budget.

January 31, 2014: CEC Posts Handbook, Formulas and Calculators!

"The California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) is now accepting Energy Expenditure Plans. Please see our Proposition 39 page for details including the Handbook, Forms, Calculators and Resources."

Please click here to view.

January 24, 2014: Treasurer Lockyer Announces Appointments to the Citizens Oversight Board Created by Proposition 39

SACRAMENTO – State Treasurer Bill Lockyer today announced his three appointments to the Citizens Oversight Board (Board) created by Proposition 39 to ensure accountability for the expenditure of energy efficiency funds allocated by the initiative. “I’m pleased to appoint three exceptional individuals to this important Board that will help ensure funds in this exciting new program are used wisely,” said Lockyer.

“All of them bring a wealth of experience and qualifications, and a dedication to public service.” Proposition 39, passed by voters in November, 2012, established the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund (Fund) to finance energy efficiency and clean energy projects at schools and other public facilities. The Fund receives revenues generated by a change in law that increased income taxes on some corporations. Lockyer appointed the following three people to the Board: 

  • Steven Sakurai, chief financial officer of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, and adjunct professor at Sacramento State University, where he teaches a graduate course on sustainable development and green building.
  • James “Walkie” Ray, an engineer and partner at Sanderson J. Ray Development, and a member of the boards of directors of the One World One Ocean Foundation, the M.I.N.D. Research Institute and the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center.
  • Kate Gordon, vice president and director of the Energy and Climate Program for Next Generation, and previously vice president of the Energy Environment at the Center for American Progress.

 The State Treasurer, State Attorney General and State Controller each appoint three members to the Board, which also includes ex-officio members designated by the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission.  


January 2, 2014: CEC Establishes Hotline

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has established a hotline:

Toll-free for those in-state: 855-380-8722 Toll-line for out of state: 916-653-0392

Schools can call these numbers with questions about how to apply for Proposition 39 (California Clean Jobs Act) awards.  

Prop. 39 provides up to $550 million annually for five fiscal years starting in the 2013/14 fiscal year.  

The funding can be used to improve energy efficiency, use more clean energy and save money, while helping to create jobs in the process. 

December 19, 2013: CEC Approves Proposition 39 Guidelines

Click here to view the revised Proposition 39 Guidelines.

Click here to view the summary of changes.

December 18, 2013: Energy Commission Business Meeting - Agenda December 19, 2013

1516 Ninth Street

Hearing Room A - First Floor

Sacramento, California 95814

10 a.m.

(Wheelchair Accessible)

Click here to view the Agenda.



December 18, 2013: SEC Submits Letter to CEC

Please click here to view the letter the School Energy Coalition submitted to the California Energy Coalition today.

December 16, 2013: SEC Member Davis Joint Unified in Davis Enterprise

"The Davis Joint Unified School District, on the other hand, focused on energy consumption first. “We started with conservation and behavioral changes and saw a 30 percent savings,” said Associate Superintendent Bruce Colby."


December 11, 2013: Net Energy Metering Proceeding on Grandfathering Solar Projects at CPUC

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has requested comments on the grandfathering provisions.  Click here for a sample letter you can use to weigh in from your school district or COE.

Please send your letters to the following email address at the CPUC:

Your individual input is extremely helpful in this decision making process.  It is vital that current projects continue under the rules they were negotiated under. Please copy us on your letters to the CPUC - thanks for your participation!


November 21, 2013: Planning Funds

We are getting questions regarding when planning funds may reach Local Education Agencies.  We are pleased to inform you - hot off the presses - that the California Department of Education has made the following posting on their website located at:

CDE states in the message below it that "warrants will be mailed to each county treasurer approximately four weeks from the date of their Notice." 

"For standardized account code structure coding, use Resource Code 6230, California Clean Energy Jobs Act, and Revenue Object Code 8590, All Other State Revenue."  For all practical purposes, it looks like LEAs will receive planning funds after the first of the year.

Click here to view the Proposition 39 web page on the CDE Website.  Please note that the "Schedule of the First Apportionment" lists the funds LEAs should receive.


November 20, 2013: LAO Releases Fiscal Outlook

The Legislative Analyst's Office released the five-year revenue and expenditure estimates for California's State Budget. This is the most optimistic projection since 2007-08. We hope that it will not suffer the same recession battered fate as the 2007-08 projection.

The top line is State General Fund revenue growing by $27.1 billion between now and 2019-20 (even after the end of the Proposition 30 sales and income tax increases). Of this, the 2013-14 revenues are expected to be $4.7 billion above the Governor's Budget projection, while 2014-15 will be $5.8 billion greater than 2013-14.

Proposition 98
The minimum guarantee is projected to be $2.7 billion greater than the Governor's Budget projection for the current year 2013-14, and increase by an additional $5.0 billion for 2014-15 and $3.1 billion for 2015-16.

Proposition 39
The LAO projects that Corporate Income Tax will not grow as fast as projected in the budget. This could mean no significant growth in Proposition 39 funding.

Because the Legislature has to appropriate the funds each year, the 2014-15 per pupil allocation will not be set until after the State Budget is adopted in June.

~Dave Walrath

SEC remains on the watch for final Proposition 39 guidelines and we will let you know as soon as they are posted. The CEC Business Meeting to approve the final guidelines has been formally announced and will be held on December 19, 2013.


October 28, 2013: Letters Sent to CEC

Please click here to view the letter the Coalition for Adequate School Housing sent to the California Energy Commission.

We received permission to post the letter the San Diego Unified School District sent to the California Energy Commission yesterday.  Please click here to view.

We received permission to post the letter the Mendocino County Office of Education sent to the California Energy Commission.  Please click here to view.


October 22, 2013: SEC's Letter to CEC

Click here to view our SEC letter to the California Energy Commission (CEC) providing our comments on the Proposition 39 DRAFT Guidelines.  The Sacramento CEC Outreach meeting is going on this afternoon and SEC will be there.

Thanks for all of your valuable input.

October 21, 2013- Planning Funding

With regard to accessing planning funding for the Proposition 39 Program:  Please note that we have heard from the California Department of Education (CDE) that planning fund requests will be taken from October 14 - only until November 1, 2013.

PLEASE NOTE:  They plan to open another "window" to take requests in January - but have shared no firm date yet for that.  We will keep you posted on this.

The current revised DRAFT guidelines on Proposition 39 state that:


  • LEAs with first year (2013-14) award of $433,000 or less, may request up to $130,000 of their first year award for planning activities
  • LEAs with first year (2013-14) award of $433,001 or more, may request 30% of their first year award (up to $1 million) for planning activities.


October 21, 2013: C.A.S.H. Fall Conference

Anna Ferrera, Executive Director of the School Energy Coalition, presented at the Coalition for Adequate School Housing Fall Conference on Proposition 39.  Please click here to view the handout.

September 27, 2013: CEC Releases Draft Guidelines

Click here to view the revised version of the Draft Proposition 39 Guidelines released by the California Energy Commission.

We will be providing an outline of the process for schools for funding and reporting under the DRAFT guidelines for schools in a future communication.

We realize that the CEC regional meetings are moving forward rapidly and school input is needed at these sessions. We highly encourage you to attend one of the CEC outreach sessions and share your thoughts on the DRAFT guidelines with state staff. Click here to view the schedule for one near you.

SEC will also be attending these sessions and will report back on what we have heard from schools and the CEC to clarify the DRAFT guidance. We will also be forwarding our analysis with questions and comments to CEC in the coming week.


September 13, 2013: End of Session Update

The Legislature has recessed.   A number of bills have been reviewed by SEC this week that were "gut and amended."  We worked hard this year to follow activities  and legislation related to Proposition 39 and to protect and increase school options for energy projects.  Click here to view the list in it's entirety.

Also, CEC released their funding allocation for energy projects.


July 2013: SEC Submits Letter to CEC

Click here to view the letter we sent to the California Energy Commission as our preliminary thoughts on Proposition 39 guidelines.  CEC was pleased to receive our letter and stated they look forward to discussing further.   

July 2013: SEC Investigates if Administration Buildings Would be Included

SEC asked the CEC if administration buildings would also be counted for funding under Proposition 39.  This is a question we heard at our recent workshops with C.A.S.H.  Of course we pointed out that these buildings are also under the school district purview and count toward the overall electricity use and bill.  SEC is pleased to report that CEC has informed us that administration building projects would be an allowable use of the funding.




July2013: 1 Deadline For Bundling

Under the state budget trailer bill language signed by the Governor, school districts under 1,000 average daily attendance  (ADA) have the option of "bundling" two year's worth of funding if they notify CDE by August 1.  This option was provided in response to concerns expressed by SEC and others that smaller school districts would not be provided enough under Proposition 39 to fund meaningful projects.  more...


Archive July 2011 to April 2013

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