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San Diego Schools Awarded $23 Million to Date for Energy Efficiency Upgrade Projects

  |   Energy Efficiency, Highlights, K-12 Sustainability, Press Releases

SAN DIEGO, CA, April 10, 2015 – 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 Union 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 San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Cleantech San Diego. 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.


“Strategic action is required to develop a healthy, energy-efficient, and cost-effective learning environment. We are committed to helping schools save energy and money by providing them with effective tools that allow them to reduce their energy consumption,” said Caroline Winn, vice president of customer services for SDG&E. “Teaching students how to save energy by making simple changes around their school will help them learn the big difference they make by implementing small energy-efficient choices on a daily basis.”


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:


  1. Vista Unified School District – $4.8 million
  2. San Marcos Unified School District – $4.1 million
  3. San Diego Unified School District – $2.3 million
  4. Poway Unified School District – $2.1 million
  5. Escondido Union High School District – $1.6 million
  6. Santee School District – $1.3 million
  7. Oceanside Unified School District – $999,261
  8. Del Mar Union School District – $855,825
  9. Chula Vista Elementary School District – $640,124
  10. Escondido Union Elementary School District – $597,659


“Thanks to the K-12 Schools Sustainability Strategy Collaborative, San Diego 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.”


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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.


About SDG&E
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 868,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

Learn more at sdge.com.


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.


Media Contact:
Shannon Casey, Cleantech San Diego, 858-568-7766, shannonc@cleantechsandiego.org


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