Need Money for Your School’s Energy Audit?


Considering putting together an application to get Prop 39 money to improve you school’s facilities in California? Consider applying to the Bright Schools Program.

The Bright Schools Program

Program funded by the California Energy Commission to provide the cost (up to $20,000) for an energy audit to identify cost-effective energy saving opportunities for school facilities.

Who is Eligible?

  • K-12 Public School Districts
  • Charter Schools
  • State Special Schools
  • County Offices of Education*
  • Community Colleges*

The Bright Schools Program

  • Provide energy audits and feasibility studies.
  • Review existing proposals and designs.
  • Develop equipment performance specifications.
  • Review equipment bid specifications.
  • Review commissioning plans.

Is there a cost to participate in the Bright Schools Program?

In most cases, there is no cost to participate in the program.

We provide technical assistance services up to $20,000 of our consultant’s costs. The cost of a study depends on the facility size, type and scope of the project. If the cost of the study exceeds $20,000, the school may opt to share in the cost or reduce the scope. We contract with experienced engineering and architectural consultants who provide the technical assistance.

When is my application due?

The Bright Schools Program is a continuously open program with no final filing date. Program funds are limited, however, so filing promptly will help increase your chance of receiving assistance. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

How will you evaluate my application?

Before receiving assistance, applicants must meet the following program selection criteria: commitment to implementing energy efficiency recommendations, high energy cost per square footage, and potential for energy savings. The application and Governing Board Resolution must indicate how your LEA plans to fund the energy efficiency project recommendations.

What if I need funding for my energy saving projects?

You can apply for a low interest loan from the Energy Commission. Loans are available at competitive rates for Local Assistance. For more information, go to www.energy.ca.gov/efficiency/financing/.

The Application Process

How do I apply for technical assistance?

  1. Complete the Technical Assistance Application. (updated: July 3, 2014)

    • Download Interactive Word Application or
    • Download PDF Application

  2. Complete Governing Board Resolution. The Energy Commission must have a resolution from your governing board before providing technical assistance. The Bright Schools Program sample resolution is available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) or as an interactive Word Document

    • Download Interactive Word BSP Resolution or
    • Download PDF BSP Resolution

  3. Provide Supplemental information. For all buildings or facilities that you are requesting assistance for, provide supplemental information, such as:

    • latest 12 months of gas and electric utility bills
    • past energy studies
    • preliminary plans or proposals

  4. Mail your application, governing board resolution, and supplemental information to:

    California Energy Commission
    Bright Schools Program
    Local Assistance and Financing Office
    1516 Ninth Street, MS 23
    Sacramento CA 95814-5512

Reference: The Bright Schools Program. (2015). Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://www.energy.ca.gov/efficiency/brightschools/#faq

Photo Credit: BlackRockSolar