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


Energy Commission Awards Nearly $2 Million to Sonoma Valley Hospital

SACRAMENTO - Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds, the California Energy Commission today approved a $1,966,762 low-cost loan for energy upgrades at the Sonoma Valley Hospital.

"These loans are improving our state's infrastructure by putting Californians to work, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions for a healthier state," said Energy Commission Chairman Karen Douglas. "The Sonoma Valley Health Care District will save $175,000 in annual costs once these energy improvements are completed. From the energy savings alone, the nonprofit hospital can repay the one percent loan in just over 11 years."

Simple lighting upgrades, both inside and outside the facility, will be among the hospital's most cost-effective energy improvements. More efficient fluorescent lights with high efficiency ballasts will be installed, and some lights will be converted to state-of-the-art LED technology. Occupancy sensors will be added to turn off lights. Double-paned tinted windows will replace older, single pane windows. The existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will be reprogrammed and modernized to respond to different cooling requirements during the day, and variable speed air handlers will replace the constant volume ones now used.

Even the hospital's record-keeping system will become more energy efficient, as 150 desktop computers are replaced with a virtual desktop system that uses two virtual servers instead of the 10 standard servers currently in operation.

In addition to the loan from the Energy Commission, the hospital will use a $174,628 rebate from its local utility to pay for the $2.1 million improvement project.

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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