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FAQs, Energy Efficient Schools Program
What is the Energy Efficient Schools Program?
Senate Bill 1149 (2001) created a Public Purpose Charge. The PPC provides for the distribution of public purpose funds for Oregon public schools to implement energy efficiency measures. 
 
The PPC also funds things like the Energy Trust of Oregon and the Oregon’s Low-Income Energy Assistance Program. The PPC and the EESP have been in existence since 2002. Senate Bill 838 extended the PPC to 2025.

 
Is my school eligible?
The rule of thumb for eligibility is that, if your school receives electricity from PGE or PacifiCorp, it is eligible for PPC funds.
 
Your school district’s funds are allocated by the number of students, as determined by the average daily membership provided by the Oregon Department of Education, that are attending each school.

 
How does EESP work?
EESP is a reimbursement program. Once a qualified energy efficiency project has been installed, it can be reimbursed from your school district’s EESP account. Your Education Service District oversees your school district’s account. Each ESD receives a monthly allotment from the utilities for each eligible school facility.

 
How much money does my district receive annually from EESP?
Your monthly PPC distribution depends on several variables. The monthly equation is as follows:
 
(Total Utility Revenues x 0.30%) x 10% x School District’s Eligible ADM = School District’s Monthly PPC Funds
 

 
Why does my ESD receive my district's funding for this program?
Your ESD acts as the fiscal agent for the EESP. Your PPC funding goes to the ESD to simplify the utility payments, to provide fiscal oversight, and consistent application of EESP guidelines across the school districts.

 
What kind of efficiency measures are covered by the program?
Measures must be identified as part of a facility audit conducted by an EESP, pre-qualified, energy audit firm (click here for a list of firms). Generally, each measure must have a simple payback of at least 20 years.
(Simple Payback = Total Measure Cost / Est. Annual savings) 
Your audit firm will help you to identify those measures that best meet the EESP guidelines.

 
Can we use Energy Trust of Oregon funds, too?
A school district must use and/or allocate all of its projected EESP funds before it can use Energy Trust of Oregon funds.

 
Are solar projects covered?
Technically, yes. In practice, no. Per the enabling legislation a School District must audit all of its eligible facilities and implement every cost effective measure at the school district first. And then it must re-audit every facility to determine that all cost effective measures have been identified and implemented.

 
Aggregating and Averaging Simple Payback
Can EESP funds be used to cover a portfolio of energy efficiency measures with varying simple paybacks as long as the average simple payback of all those measures taken in aggregate is less than twenty years? 
 
No. Measures must individually meet the simple payback criteria. Only if the School District receives prior approval from the Oregon Department of Energy to aggregate measures into a portfolio can a school district undertake to blend measures of various paybacks. Further, if a measure has a simple payback equal to or greater than fifty years under no circumstances is it eligible for reimbursement.