Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act

In November 2012, California voters approved Proposition 39, which raised funds to support energy efficiency and clean energy products in K-12 schools, community colleges, county offices of education, and state special schools. These funds start with the fiscal year 2013-14 and span five years at an estimated $550 million annually.

The approval of Proposition 39 provides a unique opportunity for California public and charter schools to improve school energy efficiency and reduce future energy costs.

The approval of Proposition 39 has already had a significant effect on the development of clean energy jobs and energy efficiency initiatives through local funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Eligible local educational agencies are able to submit an energy expenditure plan application to the California Energy Commission (CEC), which subsequently approves the energy expenditure plans. Working with the California Department of Education, the funds are distributed after the approval of a plan.

Another essential component of Proposition 39 is the collaboration of the Division of the State Architect (DSA) with the California Energy Commission to establish guidelines for DSA review. The three components which will result in a DSA review and approval include structural, fire and life safety, and access, while other eligible energy measures are exempt or excluded from DSA review and approval, including structural and access related scope. The determining factors involve the scope of work and estimated construction costs.

One of Owen’s largest market sectors is K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities. With more than 20 years serving educational clients and with Owen’s hallmark as energy-efficient, sustainable, and workable designs, our natural outcome was to begin assisting schools and colleges in maximizing the value of Proposition 39 funds. In close coordination with the CEC, Owen works with public schools and community colleges to manage the Proposition 39 process, which involves managing assessments, coordinating technical services, addressing paperwork and deadlines, developing objective short and mid-term energy planning, preparing detailed financial analysis and policy developments, and performing technical evaluations, oversight, quality control, reporting, and monitoring savings. The firm’s recent project experience for Proposition 39 includes energy audits for the San Marino Unified School District, Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) for the Anaheim City and Sweetwater Union School Districts, and many more

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