Ore. Senate approves school energy retrofits bill

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Gov. John Kitzhaber now has control of a bill he requested offering low-cost loans to retrofit schools with energy efficient technology.

The Oregon Senate approved the measure on Monday, sending it to Kitzhaber, who says he will sign it.

The measure is known by supporters as Cool Schools and is aimed at helping school districts afford the high upfront cost of energy efficient technology.

Proponents hope schools could improve the efficiency of aging buildings and save money on energy bills while employing people to make the upgrades.

The legislative initiative would offer low-interest loans from the state that would be paid back with energy savings. It draws largely on existing funding.