Cuesta gets energy efficient with new LED fixtures

Paso Robles Daily News

By Scott Brennan

Original Article

Cuesta College has developed an energy savings project that will make the San Luis Obispo Campus more energy efficient for the next 20 years and save the District hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy savings costs. The project is the result of funding from Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act and will come at no cost to the college.

While working within the constraints of Proposition 39, Cuesta College is in the process of retrofitting 90 percent of the SLO Campus’ exterior pole lighting fixtures from their current High Pressure Sodium format to Light Emitting Diode (LED). This will result in an estimated annual energy savings of $22,000, an estimated energy savings over the life of the fixtures of $440,000 and an estimated net energy savings to the District of $406,000. The estimated project cost is $341,000, which will have no negative impact on the college’s general fund.

Energy Commission Approves First Wave of Proposition 39 Energy Expenditure Plans

California Energy Commission

Press Release

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.

SmartWatt Energy to Exhibit at 2014 California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) Conference & Expo in Sacramento

Digital Journal

By PR Newswire

Original article

SmartWatt Energy, a leading provider of turnkey design-build energy efficiency solutions, will be exhibiting at the CASBO Annual Conference & Expo April 2nd-5th, 2014 at the Sacramento Convention Center in Sacramento, CA. SmartWatt is working with K-12 clients throughout the state to design and build lighting and HVAC projects in compliance with Proposition 39.

Staff from SmartWatt’s marketing department and engineering group, based in their Rocklin, CA office, will be in attendance. Representatives from County Offices of Education, District Superintendents, Education Administrators and Facilities Managers are encouraged to visit the SmartWatt team at Booth 931 to discuss their energy challenges and Proposition 39 questions or concerns.

CASBO is the nonprofit source for professional development in all K-14 business disciplines. They assist their members in staying current on school news, legislation and public school advocacy efforts, while connecting industry colleagues from throughout California’s public schools. The CASBO Annual Conference is the largest trade show of its kind in the state, with over 250 exhibitors meeting the largest single gathering of California school business officials.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson announces release of $38M to local educational agencies under Proposition 39

Sierra Madre Weekly

Original article

School districts will soon receive about $38 million from the state in the second round of planning funds from voter-approved Proposition 39, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

Proposition 39 will direct up to $2.5 billion in new revenues over five years to fund projects by California’s local educational agencies (LEAs), including school districts, charter schools, county offices of education, and community colleges. Future years’ funding will go toward the projects themselves, and first-year awards that were not used for planning can also go toward projects.

“The funding voters provided with Prop 39 will go a long way toward supporting our schools as they create stronger learning environments for our students,” Torlakson said.

The first round of funding-totaling approximately $106 million-went to LEAs last November to begin assessing needs and planning projects.
As part of the application to request energy planning funds, LEAs have certified that these funds will be used for authorized energy planning expenditures.

The complete list of recipients and amounts can be found on the California Department of Education’s funding results Web page for Proposition 39.

For additional details, visit the California Department of Education’s Proposition 39–California Energy Jobs Act Web page here or the California Energy Commission’s California Clean Energy Jobs Act Web page here.

Regional Workshops Aim to Help Schools Apply for Energy Upgrade Funding

California Energy Commission

Press Release

Original article

SACRAMENTO - California school districts and charter schools seeking Proposition 39 money for energy-related projects can get hands-on help and guidance with their application and expenditure plans at upcoming Energy Commission workshops throughout the state.

Fresno: Tuesday, March 4, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Fresno County Office of Education, 1177 Van Ness Avenue. RSVP to or (855) 380-8722.

Bakersfield: Wednesday, March 5, 9 a.m. to noon, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Larry E. Reider Education Center, 2000 K Street, Room 101. RSVP to Scott Fieber, (661) 852- 5863 or

Eureka: Monday, March 10, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Humboldt County Office of Education, 901 Myrtle Avenue. RSVP to by March 5.

Sacramento: Wednesday, March 12, 9 a.m. to noon, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, 6301 S St. RSVP to or (855) 380-8722.

Hayward: Thursday, March 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Alameda County Office of Education, 313 West Winton Ave. RSVP to Carol Houps (510) 670-4555 or

Also in Sacramento, the 2014 California Green Summit is sponsoring a workshop, Leveraging Prop 39 for Green Schools Forever: Smart Energy Investments, on Tuesday, April 8, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. More information is available at

California Schools Can Now Apply for Prop. 39 Funds to do Energy Upgrades

Imperial Valley News

By Imperial Valley News staff

Original article

Sacramento, California – California schools looking to use Proposition 39 money for eligible energy projects can now submit expenditure plans to the State and take advantage of various resources to help them through the application process.

Local Education Agencies (LEAs) can visit the Proposition 39 section of the Energy Commission’s website, where they will find an Energy Expenditure Plan Handbook, application forms and related resources such as energy savings calculators. These materials are designed to help LEAs submit complete energy expenditure plans that meet requirements of the Prop. 39 California Clean Energy Jobs Act 2013 Program Implementation Guidelines.

“Schools can use this money to make their buildings more comfortable and safe for both students and teachers, creating better learning environments,” said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister. “These projects will save schools energy and money, and will generate billions of dollars in economic activity—jobs—and all Californians will enjoy a cleaner environment as a result.”

LEAs may spend money on a variety of energy projects including: improving lighting controls and occupancy sensors; replacing incandescent exit signs; installing and repairing new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; replacing old, wasteful boilers and furnaces; and installing clean energy generation projects. Project-related health and safety work is allowed, worth up to 5 percent of each LEA’s P39 allocation. Projects that are approved in early 2014 may begin construction this summer.

Prop. 39 grants to help Napa schools with energy efficiency

Napa Valley Register

By Isabelle Dills

Original Article

More than $106 million — the first round of funding under voter-approved Proposition 39 — went to school districts this week to help them plan new energy efficiency projects such as solar installations.

In Napa County, about $362,000 was distributed to five schools and two school districts for energy efficiency planning. Recipients were Calistoga Joint Unified, Stone Bridge, Shearer Charter, Napa Valley Language Academy, River Charter, Pope Valley Union Elementary and St. Helena Unified.

“Energy efficiency projects in our schools will help create jobs, protect our environment, save money and create teachable moments for students all at the same time,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a news release. “With Proposition 39, voters made it clear that they see support for education and the environment — and the intersection of the two — as a direct investment in the future of California.”

State releases more than $106 million to schools under Proposition 39

Contra Costa Times

By Theresa Harrington

Original Article

SACRAMENTO — The state is releasing more than $106 million in funding through Proposition 39 to help schools start planning energy efficient projects, state Superintendent of Public Schools Tom Torlakson said Wednesday.

Last November, voters approved the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, or Proposition 39, which allocates funding to support energy efficiency and alternative energy projects, as well as improvements and repairs to help cut down on operating costs and improve health and safety conditions in public schools. Over five years, schools will receive about $2.5 billion through the act.

In the East Bay, both the Alameda and Contra Costa County offices of education and nearly every district and charter school is receiving funding in the first round. The complete list of funding allocations is available by visiting Click on “Proposition 39 — California Clean Energy Jobs Act.”

How California’s K-12 schools can teach us about energy efficiency

UC Berkeley

Catherine Wolfram, Co-Director, Energy Institute at Haas

Original Article

California has long been a leading indicator of national energy-efficiency trends. The state passed minimum efficiency standards for refrigerators in 1976, 11 years before the federal government adopted similar standards. And, the recent Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards are based on legislation passed in California several years earlier.

Prop 39 graphic

The state is about to blaze another energy efficiency path, so the rest of the country and world might want to pay attention.

In November 2012, California voters passed Proposition 39, which closed a corporate tax loophole, and is expected to generate approximately $1 billion annually in additional revenue for the state. The proposition devotes half of the revenues to reducing the amount public schools spend on energy, largely through energy-efficiency retrofits.

There are several notable features of Proposition 39. For one, it’s directing a huge amount of money to a specific sector. To put the nearly $500 million in perspective, it’s about half of what CA is currently spending on ALL utility-funded energy efficiency programs (ranging from low-interest financing to light bulb subsidies to complex industrial programs) and about 1/13th of what utilities nationwide spend on energy efficiency. And, the majority of the funds are going to public K-12 schools schools. (89% of $428 million in the first year will be allocated to Local Educational Agencies).

Prop 39 Funds Key to Improving Area Schools

EGP News

By David Vela

Original Article

I grew up in Southeast LA, attending Bell Gardens Elementary as a young child in the eighties. Right next to the 710 freeway, the area was industrial, with asbestos in the buildings and smog in the air. I had my first asthma attack in the third grade, and I still remember the wheezing and discomfort. The asthma attacks frequently landed me at the doctor’s office and in the hospital, impacting my time in school and affecting my grades.

My story is a common story. In fact, it’s a story you can chart geographically. School children who go to schools closer to the 710 in Commerce deal with more health problems related to asthma and allergies than other children. Thirty years later, I still see children walking around our schools with inhalers.

In addition to these health issues, our students also face the challenges of learning in older classrooms – often in portable classroom trailers.  These out-of-date classrooms contribute to poor learning environments at schools and drain our school resources. Archaic lighting and air-conditioners are energy hogs that take away precious dollars from our students.

That’s why I was happy to see Proposition 39 pass last November. The proposition will help build energy-saving projects in schools, community colleges and other public buildings. Now, California is looking at how to spend about $2.5 billion over the next five years on buildings where our children are educated and young adults prepare to start their careers.

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