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The Council has now established minimum guidelines to apply for the Energy Management grants. These grants are not for capital equipment such as lighting or HVAC equipment. All K-12 public school districts are encouraged to participate to continue eligibility for the revolving loan dollars.

These guidelines are as follows:

(1) A District Energy Policy must be in place with support from the school board level. This policy should not only address energy management but also how this is achieved while at the same time maintaining occupancy comfort and adhering to all standards and codes for indoor air quality and a healthy learning environment.

(2) Proposals must include establishing a base line energy consumption for a minimum of 50% of the district square footage. The metered energy use data compiled to establish a baseline must be input into Energy Star Portfolio Manager and shared with the EESI Portfolio Manager Account.

(3) Proposals must include audits in compliance with American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Level 1 Audits for a minimum of 10% district square footage, to be performed by an American Energy Engineers (AEE) Certified Energy Manager (CEM) or ASHRAE Building Energy Assessment Professional (BEAP).

(4) A District Action Plan including these components as well as direction for the future. The action plan should also include a district employee who will serve as the energy management advocate, accountable for implementation of the proposal and action plan.

In addition to these four minimum requirements, it is highly recommended that proposals also include:

(1) Training plan which includes training to accurately evaluate and use utility data, enter utility data into Energy Star Portfolio Manager, understand ASHRAE Level I Energy Audits, understand & troubleshoot building automation systems as well as point-to-point evaluations/modifications for proper operations. In addition, training should help with the establishment of understanding of return-on-investment of energy conservation activities for both the short-term and long-term (on-going) basis for the school district.

(2) Assistance with the evaluation and modification to any existing building automation control/monitoring system.

(3) Assistance in developing effective energy performance goals through establishment of short-term, medium-term and long-term prioritized capital projects that are based upon findings from the ASHRAE Level 1 Energy Audits for the respective school facilities defined in the Scope of Work.

The policies, plans, data, and audits provide each district with an energy baseline, a commitment from the school board, assignment of responsibilities, and a plan of action. If a district has already fulfilled all of the requirements above and have a balance remaining in the allocated grant, they may submit for additional expenses such as; performing ASHRAE Level 2 or 3 audits, ongoing commissioning, procuring the services of an energy manager, training, etc. As was stated in my previous email, these grants are not for capital equipment such as lighting or HVAC equipment.

Now that the Council is supporting creation of ongoing energy management programs and assisting existing ones, the next step for the Council will be to continue to support these programs with the loan repayment dollars that will be revolving back into EESI from the almost $70 million provided for projects. All districts are encouraged to participate to continue eligibility for these revolving dollars.