December 11, 2014
Today the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved changes to the Proposition 39 program guidelines. Among other things, the changes revise the definition of an eligible energy project by allowing efficiency measures and/or clean energy installations in or at one or more school sites within a Local Education Agency (LEA) rather than limited to one school site. C.A.S.H. supported this modification, which will help districts layer projects across their sites to achieve the needed 1.05 Savings to Investment Ratio (SIR). The revised guidelines also include provisions related to solar projects and Power Purchase Agreements, including making it easier for them to meet the SIR requirements.
The CEC released the initial draft of proposed changes on September 26, and, after a public input process, issued a revised version of the draft guidelines on November 24. Those revisions included removal of proposed language regarding competitive bids pursuant to the Public Contract Code, which was intended to clarify the prohibition on the use of sole source. C.A.S.H. had submitted comments to CEC raising concerns with the language as follows from the prior draft:
As stated above in PRC 26235(c), “A community college district or LEA shall not use a sole source process to award funds pursuant to this chapter.” This applies to all Proposition 39 program award funding, including award funding for energy planning activities. However, pursuant to Public Contract Code (PCC) Section 20111, any public projects involving an expenditure under $15,000 do not need to be competitively bid. (emphasis added)
C.A.S.H.’s concern was that this language would be interpreted to then require projects over $15,000 to be competitively bid under the Public Contract Code, thereby potentially limiting the authority to use other delivery methods such as Government Code 4217, Lease-Leaseback, and Design-Build. C.A.S.H. made the point that competitive bidding (low bid) is different from “non-sole source.” We are pleased that the CEC removed this language from the draft, and we will remain watchful of any attempts to limit contracting authority through legislation or administrative/regulatory means.
The CEC has indicated that they will release a new Proposition 39 Online Energy Expenditure Plan Application System in February 2015. Until that time, LEAs may continue to submit EEPs using the existing forms and spreadsheets, however they must do so under the prior version of the guidelines, Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act – 2013 Program Implementation Guidelines (June 2014 version). The guidelines adopted on December 10, 2014 will be effective once the online application system is operational.
Click here for the newly-approved guidelines, and see below for the full communication from the CEC regarding when the new guidelines go into effect.
~ Rebekah Cearley
Email sent Dec. 10, 2014 from CEC to the Proposition 39 Listserv
PROPOSITION39-LIST: Energy Commission Adopts Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act – 2015 Program Implementation Guidelines. Schedule for Applying Under the New Guidelines.
The Energy Commission adopted the Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act – 2015 Program Implementation Guidelines (Guidelines). Many Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) are now asking – “When can we apply under the new Guidelines?”
In February 2015, the Energy Commission will release a new Proposition 39 program On-line Energy Expenditure Plan Application System. Starting at that time, LEAs may submit Energy Expenditure Plan applications under the newly approved 2015 Guidelines. In addition, Proposition 39 training seminars are planned for early 2015 to train LEAs on the new application system. An updated Energy Expenditure Plan Handbook is also planned for release at that time, providing easy to use instructions on the new application system.
Until the release of the new on-line application system (targeted for February 2015) LEAs may continue to submit Energy Expenditure Plan applications using the existing Expenditure Plan General Form A and Expenditure Plan Project Summary Form B Excel spreadsheets. However, these applications cannot reflect the rule changes just adopted on December 10, 2014, and must follow the Proposition 39: California Clean Energy Jobs Act – 2013 Program Implementation Guidelines (June 2014 version).
Only when the new on-line Energy Expenditure Plan Application System is operational, will LEAs be allowed to apply for Proposition 39 program awards under the newly adopted 2015 Guidelines. Questions may be directed to Prop39@energy.ca.gov or the Proposition 39 Hotline, toll-free at 855-380-8722 or out-of-state at (916) 653-0392.
For more information:
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