For Immediate Release: January 13, 2012
Media Contact: Percy D. Della - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Walnut scores savings from recent energy retrofit

The air-conditioning is better and the lights are brighter at Walnut City Hall and three other facilities. The Los Angeles County city with a population of just under 25,000 received funding for an energy upgrade from a block grant provided by federal stimulus funds.

The city's energy retrofit replaced four standard heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units with premium efficiency equipment and controls at City Hall, Senior Center, Teen Center and the Maintenance Facility.

Lighting was also improved, with 196 standard efficiency lamps switched to a variety of lamps that glow brighter but use less electricity at the Senior and Teen Centers and the maintenance yard.

With the practical upgrade, the city will now save 205,000 kWh, or $28, 790 in electricity costs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 70 tons of CO2 every year.

"Changing light bulbs to more energy-efficient fixtures is simple yet sensible," said California Energy Commission Chair Dr. Robert Weisenmiller. "It is an easy step that pays off in the long run."

City Manager Robert Wishner said Walnut has always been proactive in implementing conservation efforts. "Reducing energy usage, the associated costs and greenhouse gas emissions is good for our community and the environment."

Funds of $172,264 for the project completed middle of last year, came from a block grant from the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The federal block grants administered by the Energy Commission are meant to assist small cities and counties achieve their energy efficiency goals.

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Federal stimulus funds to small cities and counties awarded under the ARRA's Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) and administered by the Energy Commission are providing more than $33 million to 201 eligible localities throughout California. Large cities and counties are receiving funding directly from the US DOE. For more information about ARRA funded programs, click on: www.energy.ca.gov/recovery/

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies. Members of the Energy Commission are Chair Dr. Robert Weisenmiller, Karen Douglas; and Carla Peterman.