Burbank schools may get $3.3M in energy efficiency funds

Burbank school officials are hopeful they will receive up to $3.3 million in state funds to spend over the next five years to make upgrades at school facilities to make them more energy efficient.

Late last month, the Burbank Unified school board agreed to spend $75,000 in Measure S funds to pay for the services of J.E. School Consulting — a company that has worked with Burbank Unified in the past and will help district officials develop a plan for how they will spend the millions of state dollars expected to come down the pipeline.

In November 2012, California voters passed Proposition 39, paving the way for school districts, charter schools and community colleges to tap into state funds to improve their facilities’ energy efficiency.

Burbank school officials are thankful for the funds, partly because they could free up some Measure S dollars the district was planning to spend on more energy upgrades.

District officials know they’re in line to get some state funds and have learned that they could receive up to $675,000 each year for five years.

“It will definitely be a nice addition to the bond program,” said Colleen Patterson, interim assistant superintendent of administrative services for Burbank Unified.

Through next November, J.E. School Consulting will help the district maximize the state funds on energy-efficiency projects, Patterson added.

The company will examine Burbank’s school facilities, determine how efficient they are and make plans for upgrades. The company will also identify how to secure additional sources of state revenue to spend on energy projects.

In the meantime, the California Energy Commission is laying out guidelines on how schools can spend the money, Patterson said.

School officials are uncertain when the district could spend the first of its expected $3.3 million, but when the improvement projects are eventually made, the district will likely be required to report on their facilities’ energy usage and consumption.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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