Last week, California voters passed Proposition 39, closing a loophole for out-of-state corporations that will result in more money for state coffers. For the next five years, half of the revenue resulting from Proposition 39, projected to be $500 million per year, will be dedicated to energy efficiency and clean energy programs. These programs will include projects at schools and government buildings such as installing solar panels, upgrading old heating and cooling systems, swapping out old windows and installing other energy-saving technologies. The other half of the revenues for the first five years will go to the state’s General Fund. After five years, all revenue will go into the General Fund.
Now comes the task of identifying the best projects to invest the money. Senator Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) will hold hearings in January to begin determining how the funds will be spent. He plans to include representatives from finance, commercial real estate, construction and labor, and California school districts, in the discussions.
The funds will be especially helpful to local governments and school districts as they will have the option to seek out low-interest funding to make energy efficient efficiency improvements.