TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2016
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. This Act is recommended by the governor for immediate passage in accordance with section 9 of article VII of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii.
SECTION 2. The legislature finds that the current governor has pledged to address the challenges facing Hawaii's classrooms, including soaring temperatures, outdated infrastructure, and costly electric bills throughout the State.
The legislature also finds that the University of Hawaii is progressing toward becoming energy net-zero by producing as much renewable energy as the system consumes by 2035. This progress will reduce the university's energy costs, contribute to Hawaii's clean energy goals, and make better use of limited resources. A similar opportunity to save on long-term energy costs and maximize limited resources exists in Hawaii's elementary, middle, and high schools. The department of education spends approximately $48,000,000 annually for electricity. By implementing a program similar to the university program, the large sum of money used for utility services could be redirected broadly on projects that will improve the learning environment, such as cooling solutions, better learning tools for students, enriching sports, arts, and extracurricular programs, and increasing pay to hire and retain better teachers.
Temperatures in Hawaii's kindergarten through grade twelve classrooms can reach over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, far exceeding the ideal conditions in which children and teachers are effectively able to perform. Reducing temperatures in hot classrooms is critical to increasing student learning. A recent peer-reviewed study by the Harvard School of Public Health, "The Impact of Green Buildings on Cognitive Function," found that cognitive scores were over one hundred per cent higher in enhanced green building conditions with adequate ventilation that lowered carbon dioxide levels and provided a comfortable indoor environment. Other recent studies have shown increases in cognitive function and student performance in classrooms with daytime light emitting diode lighting over traditional fluorescent or incandescent lighting.
Installing more efficient lighting, natural ventilation, and integrating innovative renewable technologies such as solar panels and batteries can help power schools, reduce electricity costs, and improve student performance. Powering new classroom air conditioning units with solar panels and batteries without the need to connect to the electric grid can also reduce costs by eliminating the need for costly campus electrical upgrades, and will not add significant new costs to public school electric bills.
Although the department of education previously estimated that it would cost over $30,000 to air condition a single classroom, pilot projects installing cheaper solar-powered air conditioning solutions have demonstrated that installation can cost less than $8,000 per classroom. In fact, traditional air conditioning installations at schools such as Pohakea Elementary School have more than doubled the school's utility bill. Therefore, the legislature finds that it is in the public's interest to maximize the use of effective renewable technologies to reduce air conditioning installation and operating costs.
The purpose of this part is to accelerate the goals of the department of education to cool Hawaii's schools, reduce energy costs, meet Hawaii's clean energy goals, and provide all students with better classrooms in which to learn.
SECTION 3. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part VI to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§302A- Sustainable schools initiative. (a) The department shall establish a goal of becoming net-zero with respect to energy use, producing as much renewable energy as the department consumes across all public school facilities, by January 1, 2035.
(b) The department shall use the amount and value of energy consumed by the department across all public school facilities during the 2015-2016 fiscal year as the benchmark for measuring the department's progress toward the energy usage goal set forth in subsection (a).
(c) The department shall submit an annual report to the legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of each regular session. The annual report shall include information about:
(1) Overall progress toward the net-zero energy goal set forth in subsection (a); and
(2) Plans and recommendations to advance the net-zero energy goal set forth in subsection (a)."
SECTION 4. (a) In each county, the department of education shall establish a minimum of one microgrid pilot project at a public school that also serves as an emergency shelter to allow for continued operations even during the failure of the larger electric grid during a natural disaster.
(b) Each pilot project shall provide power for campus facilities and be capable of operation without reliance on the existing electric grid.
(c) The department of education, in conjunction with the:
(1) Hawaii natural energy institute at the University of Hawaii at Manoa;
(2) Hawaii state energy office; and
(3) The administrator or director of the county emergency management agency affected,
shall examine the pilot projects, and identify how to maximize microgrid inclusion at all department of education public school facilities which also serve as emergency shelters.
(d) The department of education shall report its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2018.
SECTION 5. (a) The department of education shall expedite the cooling of all public school classrooms to a temperature acceptable for student learning.
(b) To ensure minimal increase in electric costs, classroom cooling and efficiency measures implemented pursuant to this Act shall be planned so as not to increase the annual aggregate metered energy consumption of all public schools more than ten per cent above the annual aggregate metered energy consumption of all public schools in the fiscal year prior to this Act.
(c) The department of education shall submit a report to the legislature about the implementation of measures taken to cool public school classrooms. The report shall include the following information:
(1) The number of completed classrooms that cooling measures were implemented in and number of classrooms that still require cooling;
(2) The different types of cooling measures implemented;
(3) The approximate costs per classroom for planned cooling measures, including installation, upgrades, equipment, maintenance, and projected operating costs over the life of the installation; and
(4) The approximate cost per completed classroom for cooling measures implemented, including installation, equipment, maintenance, and projected operating costs over the life of the installation;
(5) The number of completed classrooms that energy efficiency measures were implemented in and the number of classrooms that still require energy efficiency measures;
(6) The different types of energy efficiency measures implemented;
(7) The approximate cost and savings per classroom for planned energy efficiency measures, including installation, upgrades, equipment, maintenance, and projected operating costs over the life of the installation; and
(8) The approximate cost and savings per completed classroom for energy efficiency measures implemented, including installation, equipment, maintenance, and projected operating costs over the life of the installation.
(d) The department of education shall report its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session following a year in which the department of education expends general obligation bond moneys authorized by this Act for the purpose of cooling classrooms.
SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the Hawaii green infrastructure special fund the sum of $100,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2015-2016 and to loan such moneys to the department of education and department of budget and finance.
The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of business, economic development, and tourism for the purposes of maximizing the energy efficiency of all schools as allowed under section 196-65(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes.
SECTION 7. The department of education and department of budget and finance, with the approval of the governor, are authorized to borrow the sum of $100,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2015-2016 from the green infrastructure loan program for capital improvement program equipment and installation costs for air conditioning, energy-efficient lighting, and other energy-efficiency measures related to heat abatement at public schools as allowed under section 196-65(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes, provided that the loan shall be repaid from the savings realized from the reduction in energy consumption as a result of efficiency measures funded by this section. The sum of $100,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary is appropriated out of other funds for fiscal year 2015-2016 to allow expenditure of the funds for such purpose.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 8. The sum of $30,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2015-2016 in general obligation bond funds is appropriated for capital improvement program equipment and installation costs for air conditioning, other heat abatement measures, energy-efficient lighting, and other energy-efficiency measures related to heat abatement at public schools.
The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 9. Funds appropriated or authorized by this Act that are not expended or encumbered by June 30, 2018, shall lapse as of that date; provided that funds appropriated or authorized by section 8 of this Act not expended or encumbered by June 30, 2017, shall lapse as of that date.
SECTION 10. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 11. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Department of Education; Net-Zero Energy Use; Classrooms; Cooling; Energy; Microgrids; General Obligation Bonds; Appropriation
Requires the Department of Education to: (1) Establish a goal of becoming net-zero with respect to energy use by January 1, 2035; (2) Establish microgrid pilot projects at public schools that also serve as emergency shelters; and (3) Expedite the cooling of all public school classrooms. Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the use of funds from the Green Infrastructure Loan Program to implement cooling measures in public school classrooms. (SB3126 HD1)
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