For Immediate Release: January 19, 2012
Media Contact: Percy D. Della - 916-654-4989


Stimulus funds drive Del Norte County energy upgrade

The Del Norte County Sheriff's Office and County Jail have become more comfortable.

The 46-year old county building housing both facilities in Crescent City has undergone an energy makeover, courtesy of a federal block grant and a low-interest state loan. The upgrade retrofitted the facility's antiquated heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, a central water boiler and associated components.

HVAC units fueled by liquid propane were replaced with premium efficiency equipment. Air-handling units serving the facility were replaced with single-zone furnaces that independently provide each zone with tempered air.

The county also modernized all rooftop equipment at the building that operates 24/7, 365 days a year. An old diesel fuel-fired central hot water boiler was replaced with 15 new single-zone 98 percent efficient furnaces. Three hot water heaters, an idle make-up air unit and air dampers rusted by salty air have given way to premium efficiency equipment with digital automatic energy controls. In addition, an outmoded motor was removed in favor of a new energy-efficient model.

"The switchover to energy-efficient equipment and controls keeps Del Norte County in step with the energy movement that's sweeping local governments," said Energy Commission Chair Dr. Robert Weisenmiller. "One of the more practical ways to save on essential services is to cut down on energy costs."

The county started the energy upgrade rolling with a block grant of $ 122,157 from the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Completion of the project was made possible with a low-interest loan of $216,462 funded by ARRA from the Energy Commission's Energy Conservation Assistance Account (ECAA).

With the improvements, completed last year, Del Norte County is projected to save $20,721 from the facility's energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a projected 96 tons of CO2 a year.

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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:

Between 1979 and June 2011, over $263 million in ECAA loans to local governments, public schools and hospitals, public care institutions and other agencies have been allocated to more than 760 recipients. For more information on the ECAA loan program, visit:

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.