For Immediate Release: February 17, 2010
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Awards East Bay City $290,000 for Improved Streetlights

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today approved a $290,805 low-interest loan to the City of Albany to improve the energy efficiency most of its streetlights. The city will save nearly $24,000 in annual energy costs by modernizing its streetlights. Funding for the loan program comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).

"This one percent loan will allow Albany to replace 70 percent of its existing high pressure sodium lights with more efficient light emitting diodes," said Energy Commission Chairman Karen Douglas. "From the energy savings alone, the East Bay city will be able to repay today's loan in just over 12 years, and Albany plans to upgrade the remainder of its streetlights with a grant with additional stimulus program also administered by the Energy Commission."

Albany has applied for a grant from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, through which the Energy Commission is making almost $30 million in stimulus funds available to small cities and counties. Grant awards are expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter 2010.

The loan will allow the city to replace 451 streetlights, and the project will receive a $43,350 incentive from the local utility, PG&E. In addition to the reduced energy costs, the lighting improvements will reduce the city's annual greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 67 tons of CO2 a year.

Since the one percent Energy Efficient Revolving Loan Program began last year using Recovery Act funds, the Energy Commission has approved $19.9 million in loans to 17 local jurisdictions.

Governor Schwarzenegger created the California Recovery Task Force to track the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding coming into the state; work with President Barack Obama's administration; help cities, counties, non-profits, and others access the available funding; ensure that the funding funneled through the state is spent efficiently and effectively; and maintain a website that is frequently and thoroughly updated for Californians to be able to track the stimulus dollars.

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