California schools awarded energy efficiency grant

With governments making strides toward energy efficiency on a local, state and national level, the number of energy efficient homes and businesses in the United States is looking to increase over the next decade, benefiting both the environment and electricity bills.

One of the more overlooked sectors, just as much in need of sustainability upgrades, is that of schools. While many politicians want to reduce energy consumption for houses, companies and federal agencies, schools have been largely left out of the conversation. But one California school district is aiming to reverse this trend.

According to local news outlet The Contra Costa Times, the schools of the West Contra Costa district have won a grant allocating $1.64 million a year, over five years, for the sake of implementing eco-friendly renovations. The award comes from Proposition 39, passed last November. Although the money is designated for energy efficiency uses, the exact details of how those funds will be used have yet to be decided. Charles Ramsey, a member of the district's Board of Trustees, suggested that some projects may include more efficient heating systems or solar panel installations.

School administrators will draw up energy efficiency designs before passing them to the California Energy Commission for approval. In addition to reviewing these proposals, this state body will also decide on how to distribute specific costs for each project.

While schools will be allowed to carry over unused funds from one year to the next if they're looking to pool together money for larger projects, the entirety of the grant award must be spent by June 30, 2018. 

Maryland homeowners interested in making their own energy-saving improvements should schedule an appointment for a home inspection. Maryland home inspectors will perform an energy audit of your property, analyzing ways you can implement energy efficient upgrades and cut down on your utility expenses.