California schools win energy efficiency grant

Energy efficiency has evolved from homeowner pet projects to nationwide initiatives, in no small part due to the White House's major push in making green upgrades more available and affordable for public and private buildings. But while debate rages over how and where to implement these kinds of improvements in homes, companies and federal offices, schools have gone largely overlooked and ignored despite being just as much in need. One California school district is seeking to reverse that trend thanks to a new energy-focused grant.

According to local publication The Contra Costa Times, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded the West Contra Costa school district with a 5-year grant that will disperse $1.64 million per year for the sake of making sustainable, energy-reducing renovations. While the goal of the money is to make these K-12 schools ultimately more eco-friendly, in what form that will occur is still unknown, though Board of Trustees member Charles Ramsey suggested to the source solar panels and efficient heating systems.

The designs for the improvements will be drawn up by school administrators and then sent over to the CEC for review and final approval. It is up to the CEC's discretion on how much money to spend on each project. The district is permitted to roll over funds from year to year but must spend all of it by June 30, 2018.

You don't need a grant to make energy efficiency a part of your life though. Virginia and Maryland homeowners can contact R and J Tinting about solar window film and other tinting options. This film can be installed into windows to not only ensure privacy but also absorb sunlight. As solar control window film takes in rays, it can better regulate your house's temperature and ultimately bring down your utility expenses.