Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Energy Planning Funds Guidelines

Guidelines used to determine planning fund eligibility for the October, January, and April application periods.
Energy Planning Funds

Eligible Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) have the option of requesting a portion of their fiscal year 2013–14 award for energy planning now, without submitting an expenditure plan to the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission). This option is only available for the fiscal year 2013–14 award of the Proposition 39 program and is intended to provide funds for planning activities from fiscal year 2013–14 through 2017–18. The application for Energy Planning Funds is due by April 30, 2014. LEAs whose first year of Proposition 39 fund eligibility is in 2013–14 can only request planning funds in the 2013–14 fiscal year.

Allowed Planning Activities

The energy planning funds can only be spent on these four activities:

  • Energy audits and energy surveys/assessments
  • Proposition 39 program assistance
  • Hiring or retaining an energy manager(s)
  • Energy-related training

The table below provides a detailed description of each activity and illustrates best practices cost guidance.

Eligibility of LEAs in Leased Facilities

(per Final Proposition 39 Guidelines (Adopted December 19, 2013) External link opens in new window or tab.)

Leased Facilities

An LEA in a leased facility may use Proposition 39 program funding if the following conditions are met:

  • Cost‐effectiveness criteria. In addition to meeting the savings‐to‐investment ratio (SIR) of 1.05, each energy measure must have a simple payback either within the remaining period of the “lease agreement” or the remaining period of the “charter contract term,” whichever is shorter.

To calculate the simple payback of an energy measure, first determine the total energy measure costs and secondly, determine total annual savings. Next, divide the total cost by the total annual savings. This calculation shows how fast the energy measure will “pay back” on the initial investment. In leased facilities, all Proposition 39 program funded energy measures must have a simple payback within either the term of the lease agreement or the term of the charter contract term, whichever is shorter.

Simple Payback = Project Cost ($) / Annual Savings ($/year)

A Private Building Owner Written Certification to Transfer Energy Cost Savings to LEA

To ensure an LEA in a privately-owned leased facility receives the energy savings cost benefit of the Proposition 39 program‐funded energy measures, a building owner written certification is required if:

  • An LEA leases a privately-owned facility or building that does not have a separate meter.
  • An LEA leases a privately-owned facility or building, and the lease payment includes the utility cost.

If either of the above conditions applies, the building owner must commit to transferring the cost savings of the energy improvements to the LEA tenant, either through a reduced lease payment, or other form of monetary reimbursement.

Pre-Expenditure Plan Approved Activities

Description of Activity

Best Practices Cost Guidance

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers

(ASHRAE) Level 2 Energy Audit plus SIR as defined by the guidelines External link opens in new window or tab..

An ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit shall review the past 12 months of utility billing data and calculations of energy use intensity (EUI) and a walk-through of the facility. The audits shall also provide a list of all energy efficiency measures recommended for implementation and shall include detailed costs for energy measures, energy savings calculations, and financial analysis of proposed energy efficiency measures. The financial analysis shall provide a comprehensive understanding of the financial benefits of implementing the specific energy efficiency measure recommendations and include a savings-to-investment ratio (SIR) according to the guidelines External link opens in new window or tab..

$0.15 - $0.20 per gross square foot1

Energy Surveys & Data Analytics Energy surveys and data analytics may be used as tools to identify opportunities for energy efficiency measures at LEA facilities, such as those listed in Exhibit B in the guidelines External link opens in new window or tab., for which an Energy Commission calculator may be used to determine energy savings. $0.02 - $0.05 per gross square foot1

Proposition 39 Program Assistance

If an LEA needs assistance completing the Proposition 39 program requirements, it may use part of the award for Proposition 39 program assistance activities. For example, LEAs are required to provide electric and gas usage/billing data, complete benchmarking, submit an energy expenditure plan(s), and complete reporting requirements necessary to receive eligible energy project funding under this program. Energy planning funds requested for Proposition 39 program assistance can be used to complete any of the required Proposition 39 program steps.


Energy Manager

An energy manager’s responsibility is to improve energy efficiency by evaluating the school’s energy use and implementing energy policies, strategies, programs, and energy measures. Energy managers may review related work that could improve health and safety or classroom conditions. Typical work responsibilities include, but are not limited to, evaluating and monitoring current energy usage, identifying energy saving opportunities in existing facilities, ensuring accurate records are maintained, providing technical energy efficiency and conservation services, and managing all stages of energy project implementation.


Energy-Related Training

Energy efficiency training of classified school employees.


Source: California Energy Commission
1 Gross means all the square footage inside the perimeter of exterior walls (less courtyards).

Maximum Energy Planning Award Funding Request

LEAs with award allocations of $433,000 or less may request up to 100 percent of their first year award, with a maximum of $130,000, for planning activities. LEAs with award allocations greater than $433,000 may request up to 30 percent of their first year award for planning activities.

LEAs that elect to receive two years of award funding in fiscal year 2013–14, may request up to one-half of the combined award.

Unused Energy Planning Awards

Any unused energy planning funds shall be applied toward implementing eligible energy project(s) approved as part of an LEA’s energy expenditure plan(s).

If an LEA decides to request only a portion of its first year award for energy planning, the planning funding requested will be subtracted from the total award and the remaining funding will be available for implementing eligible energy projects through the energy expenditure plan process.

Retroactive Planning Activities

Proposition 39 funding may be used only to pay for energy planning activities occurring on or after July 1, 2013. If energy planning activities took place before July 1, 2013, those energy planning activities are not eligible for retroactive Proposition 39 funding.

Reporting Planning Activities and Expenditures

All LEAs shall report their planning activities and related expenditures as part of their first energy expenditure plan following planning work completion.

New Charter Schools Commencing Instruction in 2013–14 or Later

For new charter schools that commence instruction in fiscal year 2013–14 or later, energy planning funds for those new schools will be available in the first fiscal year of Proposition 39 funding eligibility, so long as prior year average daily attendance (ADA) counts are provided during the second principal apportionment reporting period. For example, a charter school that begins instruction in fiscal year 2013–14 can use fiscal year 2014–15 award funds for planning activities, provided 2013–14 ADA counts are available.

Questions:   Categorical Allocations & Management Assistance Office | | 916-327-0538
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Related Content
Recently Posted in