Skinner Would Funnel Cap and Trade Revenues into Schools

Berkeley lawmaker says money spent on utilities could be freed up for education costs.

Berkeley legislator Nancy Skinner has introduced a bill that would direct Cap and Trade utility revenues to fund energy efficiency improvements at public school facilities throughout the state.

The savings could pay for an additional teacher for every retrofitted school, the Democratic assemblywoman said.

“Schools all over California write checks every month to pay for rising utility bills, money that could be going into classrooms,” Skinner said. “AB 1186 will slash school energy costs by drawing on new Cap and Trade funds to make school sites more energy efficient.”

As California’s general fund expenditures for K-12 public school utilities reached $1.1 billion, Gov. Jerry Brown last week painted a bleak financial picture for the state.

The Berkeley Unified School District business manager did not return calls by press time.

Assembly Bill 1186, dubbed "Save Energy, Save Our Schools,” requires investor-owned utilities to designate a portion of revenue toward school energy improvements.

“Funding schools shouldn’t be a question of paying teachers or paying power companies,” Skinner said in a prepared statement. “Efficiency upgrades can put money back in the classroom to the tune of $60,000 annually -- enough for one additional teacher for every retrofitted school.”

Cap and Trade is one of the regulations designed to achieve the emissions reduction goal in AB 32. Under the carbon auction and trading system, investor-owned utilities will auction freely-allocated pollution permits, which in turn will become multibillion-dollar-per-year revenues. The bill would direct the California Public Utilities Commission to require invester-owned utilities to spend a percentage of their profits on school energy improvements.

Website of Assemblymember Nancy Skinner:  


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