CPUC and CEC Moving Forward to Implement Schools Stimulus Program

In Assembly Bill 841 the California Legislature established the School Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program, designed to help schools prepare for operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. This week the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued Decision 21-01-004, authorizing funding for the School Reopening Ventilation and Energy Efficiency and Repair (SRVEVR) and School Noncompliant Plumbing Fixture and Appliance (SNPFA) programs. Under the decision, funds provided through rates charged by the large investor-owned utilities will be transferred to the California Energy Commission, and made available to schools throughout California for improving school infrastructure.

The decision authorizes a total budget for 2021 of $277 million, allocated between Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison Company (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Company (SCG). Approximately $220 million of the total will be collected from ratepayers, with the balance from unspent and uncommitted 2020 energy efficiency program funds. The decision provides guidance for future funding (through budget year 2023) and return of any unused funding to ratepayers. The utilities will submit a tariff filing to the CPUC to implement Decision 21-01-004 by February 1, 2021.

The CEC has initiated Stimulus Program implementation proceedings as well by opening Docket 20-RENEW-01. As outlined by the CEC, the SRVEVR program will provide funding for reasonable costs of HVAC assessment, general maintenance and adjustment, filter replacement, and carbon dioxide monitor installation as well as certain repairs, replacements and other improvements to HVAC systems. It will prioritize investments in facilities in underserved communities and schools located near freeways or industrial facilities. The SVPFA will provide grants to local and state agencies to replace noncompliant plumbing fixtures and appliances that fail to meet water efficiency standards, again prioritizing funding for underserved communities.

Interested parties may submit comments on the SRVEVR Program Draft Guidelines and the SVPFA Program Draft Guidelines on or before February 5, 2021.

Contact: Lynn Haug or Chase Maxwell