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2015-16 Energy Planning Funds Guidelines

Guidelines used to determine planning fund eligibility for 2015-16.

Energy Planning Funds

Local educational agencies (LEAs) whose first year of Proposition 39 eligibility is in 2015–16, have the option of requesting a portion of their fiscal year 2015–16 award for energy planning now, without submitting an energy expenditure plan to the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission). The application for Energy Planning Funds is due by January 8, 2016. LEAs whose first year of Proposition 39 fund eligibility is in 2015–16 can only request planning funds in the 2015–16 fiscal year.

Eligible Applicants

(per Proposition 39 Guidelines External link opens in new window or tab.)

Eligibility of LEAs in Publicly Owned Facilities

An LEA in a publicly owned facility, whether or not it has a signed lease with the host school district or other public entity, may use Proposition 39 program funding. There are no additional cost-effectiveness criteria requirements. These LEAs follow the general Proposition 39 program cost-effectiveness determination as described in Step 6 of the Proposition 39 Guidelines. LEAs using a host LEA’s facility will need to work closely with that host to ensure each LEA’s Proposition 39 award funding is used for eligible energy projects on the facility (facilities) it occupies.

Eligibility of LEAs in Privately Owned Leased Facilities
Privately Owned Leased Facilities

LEAs, in particular charter schools, may lease privately owned facilities. These LEAs follow the general Proposition 39 program cost-effectiveness determination as described in Step 6 of the Proposition 39 Guidelines. In addition, LEAs in privately owned leased facilities may use Proposition 39 program funding with the following condition.

If the LEA is a charter school but has not renewed its charter term at least once prior to applying for Proposition 39 program funding, a charter school in a privately owned leased facility must also meet the additional cost-effectiveness criteria below:

  • Cost-effectiveness criteria. In addition to meeting the savings-to-investment ratio (SIR) of 1.05, the eligible energy project must have a simple payback within the remaining period of the “charter contract term.”

To calculate the simple payback of an energy project, first determine the total energy project costs and, second, determine total annual project savings. Next, divide the total cost by the total annual savings. This calculation shows how fast the energy project will “pay back” on the initial investment. The eligible energy project must have a simple payback within the term of the charter contract term.

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.

Eligibility of LEAs in Their Own Privately Owned Facilities

LEAs, in particular charter schools, may own their school building(s). These LEAs follow the general Proposition 39 program cost-effectiveness determination as described in Step 6 of the Proposition 39 Guidelines. In addition, an LEA in a privately-owned facility may use Proposition 39 program funding with the following condition.

If the LEA is a charter school but has not renewed its charter term at least once prior to applying for Proposition 39 program funding, a charter school in a privately owned facility must also meet the additional cost-effectiveness criteria below:

  • Cost‐effectiveness criteria. In addition to meeting the savings-to-investment ratio (SIR) of 1.05, the eligible energy project must have a simple payback within the remaining period of the “charter contract term.”

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 for energy audits, energy surveys, and data analytics. Planning funds may be used for any of the four categories at the LEA's discretion.

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.. Energy modeling is considered part of an ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit. $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 the Energy Expenditure Plan Handbook 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. N/A
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. N/A
Energy-Related Training Energy efficiency training of classified school employees. N/A

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 their first year of program eligibility 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 energy 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.

Reporting Planning Activities and Expenditures

All LEAs shall report their budgeted planning activities and actual planning expenditures as part of their energy expenditure plan.

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.

These new charter schools may retroactively pay for energy planning activities dating back to July 1 of the prior fiscal year, from the first year of Proposition 39 funding eligibility. For example, if a charter school’s first Proposition 39 funding eligibility is in fiscal year 2015–16, the charter school can use energy planning funds to pay for energy planning activities occurring on or after July 1, 2014.

Questions:   Categorical Allocations & Audit Resolution Office | prop39fiscal@cde.ca.gov | 916-327-0538
Last Reviewed: Thursday, February 18, 2021
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