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Energy Efficiency Projects Underway at Pittsburg Schools Thanks to Proposition 39

Media Office Staff

Students in the Pittsburg Unified School District will see a range of energy efficiency improvements through funds from the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) K-12 Program.

The district received $2.6 million from the California Energy Commission’s Proposition 39 funds for projects such as interior and exterior lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. The project are at nine district sites. The funds will also support an energy supervisor position. All projects are scheduled to be completed by 2020.

The Energy Commission directed more than $1.7 billion over five years from Proposition 39 to schools to plan and install energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy generation measures. Proposition 39 is a voter-approved initiative that adjusted the corporate income tax code and allocated revenues to school districts for energy improvements to facilities.

Pittsburg district officials used Proposition 39 funds to replace interior lighting at three gymnasiums at Pittsburg Senior High School. Head Custodian Martin Nunez said he often received complaints about the dim gym lights.

“During basketball games, even the referees would ask me to brighten the lights, but I couldn’t because that was as far as they could go,” Nunez said. “The new lighting is really great because I don’t get those complaints anymore.”

The district’s Proposition 39 projects are estimated to save $78,527 in energy costs annually, according to the Energy Commission.

Alan Glass, the district’s energy supervisor, said Proposition 39 has supported his passion for sustainability and energy conservation.

“The more I’m involved in what I do, the more excited I’ve gotten about any opportunity to improve the district,” Glass said.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently recognized the district for its energy efficiency efforts. The district plans to build an outdoor learning center to teach students about the district’s solar panels, electric buses, and wind turbines.

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