One way to save on utility bills is to bring down what you spend on electricity – by changing behavior or installing more energy efficient appliances and lights.
San Juan Unified School District opted to take advantage of funds from the Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39), which provides grants to schools for energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy generation projects.
Proposition 39 is a California voter approved initiative which closed a corporate tax loophole and reallocated money toward energy efficiency and clean generation projects in schools. The California Energy Commission approves applications from K-12 schools for Proposition 39 grants.
San Juan Unified has applied for more than $5 million in Proposition 39 grants and has also received money through a local bond measure to fund energy projects.
Energy Manager Chris Ralston said the district focused on a variety of energy saving measures, with the most savings coming from light-emitting diodes (LED) lighting retrofit at all school sites.
LED lighting and other measures such as HVAC upgrades, lighting controls, and behavioral changes such as consistent temperatures for heating and air conditioning units, have produced results. During the first months of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, electricity use declined 10.5 percent and the district saved $241,000 in utility costs, according to the district.
“The current report shows savings from the first two phases of the LED lighting projects,” Ralston said. “We expect the next report to show more savings because it will reflect that all of our schools have been using LED lighting.”
To search K-12 school district and community college district projects, visit the Energy Commission’s searchable database.