For Immediate Release: November 21, 1997
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Shasta County Cuts Jail's Energy Waste
Earns Energy Commission Award

The yearly energy bill at the Shasta County Jail in Redding has plummeted by at least $65,000, thanks to a series of energy improvements recently completed at the 13-year-old facility. Now, to honor the county for its increased energy efficiency, the California Energy Commission is presenting an award for "Outstanding Energy Achievement in Local Government" at the County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, November 25.

The resolution from the California Energy Commission commends Shasta County for "reducing energy use, saving funds for public services, and setting an example for all businesses and residents in the community."

"Shasta can be proud of its success in making the county jail a more energy efficient building," said Energy Commissioner Robert Laurie. "Since 1994, when an energy audit first outlined ways to reduce energy waste, county officials have worked closely with the Commission to cut costs while improving the comfort of employees, inmates and the general public. As a result of their efforts, energy use dropped by more than 22 percent the first year, a significant savings to county taxpayers."

The detailed energy survey, part of the Energy Commission's Energy Partnership Program, uncovered high costs for lighting, water heating and clothes drying in the 11-story facility. The study also determined that the existing air conditioning system was unable to cool the building on hot summer days because of poor controls and inadequate equipment.

As a result of the survey, outdated lighting fixtures in the 115,000 square-foot building were fitted with new high efficiency fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts. The electric boiler producing hot water for domestic, kitchen and laundry needs was replaced with a natural gas-fired boiler. Natural gas dryers were substituted for electric dryers that were more costly to operate in the laundry.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls were improved and adjusted. The existing cooling tower was replaced with a low horsepower model that allows multiple chillers to operate on very hot days.

Total cost of the improvements was $384,000. Through its Partnership Program, the Energy Commission provided equipment performance specifications and a low interest $200,000 loan, with the county supplying the rest of the financing.

"From the energy savings alone, the project will pay for itself in less than six years, and Shasta County taxpayers will reap the benefits for years to come," said Laurie.

On behalf of the Energy Commission, Laurie is scheduled to present the "Outstanding Energy Achievement in Local Government" award to County Supervisors at the 9 a.m. Meeting on November 25.

For more information, contact:

Dave Sokol, Shasta County Jail Support Services Manager, (530) 245-6112

Rob Schlichting, California Energy Commission,
Media and Public Communications Office, (916) 654-5159

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