San Diego County CA— Since the adoption of the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) two years ago, school districts across the state have been evaluating their energy use and applying for funding, known as Prop. 39 funds, from the California Energy Commission to carry out energy efficiency upgrades. To date, the San Diego region is among the top three funded counties in California with 10% of the dollars approved for projects.
In June 2014, Escondido Union School District became the first of San Diego County’s 42 school districts to have its $597,659 Energy Expenditure Plan approved by the Energy Commission. Since then, 28 more San Diego schools have been approved for awards totaling $23 million. Del Mar Unified School District is the latest, with its $855,825 Energy Expenditure Plan approved in April 2015.
Statewide, the Energy Commission has approved a total of 331 Energy Expenditure Plans, 29 of which are from San Diego school districts. The projects, spanning 95 school sites, will result in more than 10 million kWh (kilowatt hours) in annual electricity savings and 3 MW (megawatts) in demand energy reduction. The awards have also helped create six full-time jobs and an estimated 118 job-years of project work.
Now in its second year, Prop. 39 will continue to allocate funds through fiscal year 2017-18. Over this five-year span, San Diego area schools will be eligible for approximately $125 million of the total statewide allocation.
San Diego’s strong performance statewide is the result of a concerted effort by Cleantech San Diego and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). In June 2013, the two organizations formed the San Diego K-12 Schools Sustainability Strategy Collaborative to expedite the process of applying for Prop. 39 funds and foster the sharing of energy efficiency and sustainability best practices among San Diego schools. The regional collaborative meets monthly and has established working groups to test new technologies and share results.
Last year the San Diego K-12 Schools Sustainability Strategy Collaborative hosted the Energy Commission’s first field workshop in Southern California to train school districts in the application process. The Energy Commission has recognized San Diego’s collaborative efforts as a best practice and will return to the region for a second training session on April 15 at SDG&E’s Energy Innovation Center.
“San Diego’s schools are to be commended for their high level of organization, collaboration, and can-do spirit,” said California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who oversees the commission’s energy efficiency work. “We are excited to provide school districts across the county with resources, tools, and training to help them develop and implement high-priority projects that deliver both immediate and long-term savings.”
Energy Expenditure Plans approved across the SDG&E territory range from $51,808 to $4.8 million. To date, top funded school districts in the San Diego region include:
- Oceanside Unified School District – $999,261
- Vista Unified School District – $4.8 million
- San Marcos Unified School District – $4.1 million
- Escondido Union High School District – $1.6 million
- Escondido Union Elementary School District – $597,659
- Del Mar Unified School District – $855,825
- San Diego Unified School District – $2.3 million
- Poway Unified School District – $2.1 million
- Santee School District – $1.3 million
- Chula Vista Elementary School District – $640,124
“Thanks to the K-12 Schools Sustainability Strategy Collaborative, San Diego County school districts have been able to leverage all of the tools, templates, and trainings we have shared to help simplify the application process,” said Cleantech San Diego President and CEO Jason Anderson. “The San Diego region stands prepared to continue this trajectory and secure millions more in funding to benefit our schools and our cleantech economy.”
About Proposition 39
The California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Prop. 39) changed the corporate income tax code and allocates projected revenue to California’s General Fund and the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund for five fiscal years, beginning with fiscal year 2013-14. Under the initiative, roughly up to $550 million annually is available for appropriation by the Legislature for eligible projects to improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation in schools.
Learn more at energy.ca.gov/efficiency/proposition39
About Cleantech San Diego
Cleantech San Diego is a nonprofit member organization that positions the greater San Diego region, including Imperial County and Baja California, as a global leader in the cleantech economy. The organization achieves this by fostering collaborations across the private-public-academic landscape, leading advocacy efforts to promote cleantech priorities, and encouraging investment in the San Diego region. Cleantech San Diego’s membership includes more than 100 local businesses, universities, governments, and nonprofits committed to advancing sustainable solutions for the benefit of the economy and the environment.
Learn more at cleantechsandiego.org.