For Immediate Release: May 20, 2010
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Energy Commission Awards $29.6 Million in Stimulus Funds
for Clean Jobs Training, Energy Upgrades


SACRAMENTO - In three separate awards, the California Energy Commission approved $29.6 million to provide workforce development, create clean jobs and improve energy efficiency throughout California. Funding for the projects comes from the federal America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The three programs - EnergySmart Jobs, Energy Technology Assistance Program (ETAP), and the Downtown Oakland Targeted Measure Project - were awarded funding from the California's State Energy Program (SEP) for energy programs focused on existing commercial and residential building energy efficiency (and water efficiency) retrofits.

"These exciting programs are models for leveraging private funding with public funds to create partnerships that are designed to bring new jobs into the market, boosting our statewide economy," said Karen Douglas, California Energy Commission Chairman. "By upgrading commercial buildings to be more energy efficient, we're showing building owners, operators and occupants that energy efficiency can provide cost savings and other valuable non-energy paybacks while at the same time benefitting the state with lower greenhouse gas emissions. Improved building comfort and reduced maintenance costs will help convince customers to accept and demand new energy efficient innovations, helping to transform the market."

The three program awards funded through the Municipal and Commercial Building Targeted Measure Retrofit Program will spread the benefits of readily available, low risk, high-return efficiency technology to municipal and commercial buildings throughout the state with an energized workforce. The combined programs anticipate creating or retaining more than 1,200 jobs plus creating a new clean energy workforce through aggressive training programs. Energy savings are estimated to exceed 117,000 megawatt hours of electricity (or enough to power 234,000 homes for one month) and more than 52,000 tons of CO2 equivalents annually.

The Municipal and Commercial Retrofit Programs
The Energy Technology Assistance Program (ETAP), another statewide venture, was awarded $5.9 million to deploy cutting edge, energy-saving technologies in government buildings. The ETAP, administered by Energy Solutions, has a strong workforce development component creating more than 700 direct and indirect jobs, including training for professionals and apprentices in the lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industries.

The statewide Energy Smart Jobs Program will use $18.8 million to provide energy efficiency options for the approximately 40,000 commercial buildings throughout California that have retail refrigeration equipment facilities such as grocery stores, convenience stores, specialty markets and restaurants. The Energy Smart Job Program has initially partnered with 14 entities, including community colleges, technology firms, utilities and manufacturers to leverage almost $900,000 in private and public monies and more in-kind services. In a model partnership with the California Conservation Corps, 60 members will be trained and employed by the program administrator, PECI, to conduct refrigeration efficiency surveys and upload the data to a central database. Participating energy services companies will then provide additional information and make recommendations to business owners about appropriate energy saving equipment. Working with local utilities, the program will leverage about half of the funding to "buy down" the cost of energy efficient refrigeration equipment with direct incentives. The program estimates funding 5,000 retrofit projects saving the commercial retailers approximately $40 million in energy costs over five years.

The ETAP is targeting 21 cities, counties and special districts in northern and southern California and are also leveraging $13.5 million in public and private funds. The program is anticipated to save 17.6 million kilowatt hours (kWh) a year, reduce summer peak electricity demand by 1,700 kWh and diminish CO2 emission by 10,000 tons. Some of the energy-saving technologies to be installed include a bi-level parking lot and parking garage lighting fixtures with occupancy sensors. These devices will turn lights off when not needed, and provide wireless lighting and HVAC controls.

The public and private partnership program - Downtown Oakland Targeted Measure Project - will use $4.8 million to install advanced energy efficient lighting in many of Oakland's commercial buildings. This unique program leverages $2.3 million in public and private funds from utility companies, the local community college district and local workforce development programs like the nationally recognized Oakland Green Job Corps. The pilot program, administered by Quantum Energy Services & Technologies, Inc., will retrofit classrooms, offices, parking lots and parking garages with advanced lighting and HVAC technologies. These measures are expected to reduce the area's annual energy use by 8.4 gigawatt hours (GWh) and cut greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 4,417 tons of CO2 annually. Partners PG&E's East Bay Energy Watch program and the Clean Energy Workforce Training Programs are teaming up with the Peralta Community College District to train facility operators, contractors and installers. The City of Oakland Economic Development staff, the Building Owners and Managers Association, and the Oakland Chamber of Commerce have already lined up 4 million square feet of building space as part of this huge retrofit effort.

State Energy Program (SEP)
The California Energy Commission has received $226 million in federal ARRA funding for the programs like these through the State Energy Program (SEP). California's SEP is focused on increasing energy efficiency to reduce energy costs and consumption, cut reliance on imported energy, and shrink energy impacts on the environment. Under the $110 million SEP competitive solicitation, funding for 12 local jurisdictions, non-profits or private organizations was awarded that created unique partnerships in three distinct areas: the California Comprehensive Residential Building Retrofit Program, the Municipal and Commercial Building Targeted Measure Retrofit Program, and the Municipal Financing Program.

For more information on this program or other Recovery Act funded programs, visit www.energy.ca.gov/recovery

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