For immediate release: December 20, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

California Energy Commission Approves Cool
Communities Contracts with Regional Entities

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission today approved contracts of $2 million each with four regional entities to implement the State's Cool Communities Program.

The contractors are charged with retrofitting building roofs, making their surfaces "cooler" through reflective coating materials or other means to reduce solar heat absorbed by roof surfaces and ducts. Cool roofs also reduce air pollution, lower energy bills and help mitigate further damage to air quality.

The regional contractors and their areas of coverage are: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the city of Los Angeles; the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), its service territory; the Sacramento Tree Foundation, Bay Area and the Central Valley, except communities served by SMUD; and the San Diego Regional Energy Office, San Diego County.

Negotiations are still under way for a fifth regional contract.

Tasks assigned to the contractors include recruitment of cool roof participants, screening of projects, assisting participants, providing grants to approved projects, and reporting monthly project progress and other information.

The Cool Communities campaign seeks to save 30 megawatts of electricity in the summer by providing incentives averaging 10 cents per square foot of qualifying roof that must be installed by June 1, 2001. School building roofs that qualify must be in place by August 31, 2001.

The idea is to cycle back the much-needed juice into the electrical grid to prevent energy shortages during the summer peak hours of 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. A megawatt is enough power to light up 1,000 typical California homes.

The Cool Communities project is part of the Energy Commission's objective of shaving off a total of 200 megawatts of peak demand through conservation measures by June 2001.

The programs are funded through a bill recently signed by Governor Gray Davis. AB 970 sets aside money to help the Energy Commission cut overall energy use in California through various energy conservation measures.

AB 970 will help reduce electricity use in homes and commercial buildings and install "demand responsive" software and hardware in buildings to diminish power required by heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems in response to signals from the Independent System Operator. The law also seeks to improve wastewater recovery methods and replace old-fashioned traffic lights with efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Further information and other specific features of various AB 970 programs can be obtained from the Commission's Web Site at:

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