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Energy Efficiency

2017 Wisconsin Act 59 Moratorium

Districts are no longer able to enter energy efficiency data into the School Finance Portal for the portal has been closed per 2017 Wisconsin Act 59 (2017-19 Budget). Districts may review their utility savings by going to the SAFR Reporting Portal. However, districts that need to update their energy efficiency utility savings or have other related questions should contact Roger Kordus at 608-267-3752.

Energy Efficiency Exemption (EEE) to the Revenue Limit

Per 2017 Wisconsin Act 59 (2017-19 Budget), school boards are prohibited from adopting a resolution to utilize the Energy Efficiency Exemption to the revenue limit after December 31, 2017 (through December 3018). School Boards have the authority to adopt EEE resolutions after October 1, 2017 and before January 1, 2018 that are applicable beginning in 2018-19 and thereafter.

A School Board may issue debt after December 31, 2017 to fund the energy efficiency exemption project(s) that were approved by the School Board prior to December 31, 2017. Under current law, resolutions may not be passed after December 31, 2017. This includes changes to any existing resolutions.

Resolution Overview

A school board may adopt a resolution to increase the revenue limit otherwise applicable to a school district under s. 121.91 (2m), Wis. Stats. in any school year by an amount spent by the school district in that school year on a project to implement energy efficiency measures or to purchase energy efficiency products. District may use this non-recurring exemption to the revenue limit to pay for an energy efficiency project in a single year or to repay a note, bond or loan used to finance the project.

Performance Contract

Before passing a resolution, the Board must enter into a performance contract under §66.0133. A properly executed performance contract will provide the Board with the information required for the resolution. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) provides a sample resolution and a table for districts to use to collect the required information to list each energy efficiency measure/product with related cost recovery performance indicators, estimated cost and estimated savings and payback period.

Resolutions (or amendments) shall be passed by October 1st. Submit a copy of the resolution (or amendment) to DPI within 10 days of passage. This is done in the SAFR Reporting Portal by choosing Referenda and adding a "New Referendum/Resolution."

65.90 Budget Publication Reporting

Publish project information--including utility and non-utility savings--using the 65.90 Addendum each year the energy efficiency exemption is used. This information is also included in the district newsletter or published minutes of the school board meeting. Districts with debt service payments are to report utility savings to DPI within two weeks of publication.

Energy Efficiency and Utility Savings Reporting:

Districts are required to report to DPI the annual utility savings for Energy Efficiency Exemption projects financed with debt each year and/or when savings are known. Districts are encouraged to review their performance contract measurement and verification to determine when savings will be reported to DPI and applied to reduce the tax levy. For some districts it may be the guarantee amount, for others it may be after a period of time. Districts utilizing energy efficiency exemptions must report savings for the Fall Tax Levy before November 1st. It is important to report the fiscal year utility savings before the levy is certified; to avoid an over levy and revenue limit penalty. Districts are to email their updated annual utility savings.

Revenue Limit Worksheet

When the exemption is used for debt payments, related utility savings must be used to retire the bond, note or state trust fund loan. DPI will accomplish this by annually reducing the exemption for energy efficiency expenditures by the reported utility savings.