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For immediate release: December 27, 2001
Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Low Interest Energy Loans
Approved for Three Agencies

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission has approved low-interest State loans of almost $2.6 million for energy efficiency projects in the East Bay Municipal Utility District, the Los Angeles Community College District and Humboldt County.

East Bay MUD, based in Oakland, will receive over $1.9 million in funds to install 12 60-kilowatt natural-gas fired microturbines at its Administration Center and a 30-kW photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of its Operations Center.

The microturbines will trim the district's energy costs by over $431,000, based on new Pacific Gas and Electric rate schedule. The planned PV project has obtained a 50 percent PG&E rebate and will further reduce energy bills by $7500 a year. The projects will trim the district's on-peak and mid-peak energy use by 35 percent.

Simple payback period for the microturbine project is 5.6 years and 9 years for the PV system.

The LA Community College District has requested a loan for over $436,000 to install a 140-kW PV system at its East Los Angeles College. The college has recently made lighting and comfort system improvements but would like to produce renewable energy to reduce energy costs by about $48,000 annually. Reduced energy bills will enable the District to pay back the loan in nine years.

Humboldt officials will use about $130,000 in loans to improve heating and make lighting retrofits at the County courthouse and other buildings. Once done, the improvements will enable the county to reduce energy costs by at least $23,000 yearly. At the same time, the county will be able to reduce electrical consumption by 37 kilowatts. Savings from the projects alone will enable the county to repay the loan way ahead of the required 11-year payback period.

The loans were made under the Energy Conservation Assistance Act. To encourage energy efficiency, the act grants energy loans at a low 3 percent interest rate for local governments, schools from K-12, special districts, public and private care facilities, community college districts and other agencies.

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