Lynwood, Calif. – The Lynwood Unified School District will receive more than $2.3 million over three years to improve lighting, heating, air conditioning and technology at two elementary schools and the district administration building. The grant, recently approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC), will allow the district to upgrade classrooms and electrical control systems, reduce energy consumption and save an estimated $133,000 annually.
“Our job is to ensure the best and highest use of available dollars to educate our children,” said Lynwood Unified Board of Education President Briseida Gonzalez, MSW. “This program allows us to run our schools more efficiently and put the money we save into our instructional programs.”
Lynwood Unified is among the first school districts in California to receive energy efficiency funding under Proposition 39, a statewide ballot measure voters overwhelmingly approved in 2012. Prop. 39 provides hundreds of millions of dollars for projects that reduce energy inefficiency and expand clean energy generation in schools throughout the state for the first five years the measure is in effect.
“Upgrading our energy systems has real financial and environmental benefits that demonstrate the value of the sustainable practices we are teaching our students,” said Superintendent Paul Gothold. “This grant also represents another major success in our ongoing efforts to aggressively pursue all funding sources to improve the quality of our programs and facilities.”
To qualify, school districts must submit an application with a detailed conservation plan. Lynwood Unified won approval for a package of interior and exterior lighting upgrades and web-based energy management systems at Lindbergh Elementary, Will Rogers Elementary and Child Care Center, and the district administration building. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems also will be improved at the district administration building. The work is due to begin in December.
The package of improvements is expected to cut utility usage by about 34 percent upon completion of the proposed projects. Over their 15-year life span, the upgrades will save the district about $2.5 million.
The District also submitted and was approved for plans to upgrade lighting and technology at Marshall, Lugo, Roosevelt and Mark Twain elementary schools. Those projects are contingent upon CEC providing additional funding in 2019-20 and 2020-21. If the projects are funded, the total award to Lynwood Unified will be approximately $3.7 million. Funding is based on average daily attendance.
The CEC began allocating Prop. 39 dollars this year to schools statewide. In addition to improving lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, the funds may potentially be used for new chillers, boilers and furnaces; energy-efficient windows, thermal window shades, programmable thermostats, and on-site clean energy generation, such as solar power infrastructure.
Known as the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, Prop. 39 increased state revenue by changing the way California income tax is calculated for out-of-state corporations. In addition to energy efficiency projects for California schools, Prop. 39 dollars support job creation in the clean energy sector.