For Immediate Release: Janaury 27, 2012
Media Contact: Percy D. Della- 916-654-4989


Blythe's simple energy retrofit translates to savings

The city of Blythe has undertaken a simple yet practical energy upgrade at its City Hall and eight other city buildings that translates to dollar savings year in and year out.

For the upgrade, the Riverside County community of nearly 21,000 people made full use of a block grant provided by federal stimulus funds.

The city's energy retrofit replaced light fixtures with a variety of lamps that glow brighter but use less electricity and converted exit signs with light emitting diodes (LEDs) at City Hall, public works office, police department, recreation department, fire department, community center, central garage, wastewater treatment facility and the Murphy Street pumping station. Occupancy sensors were also installed in these facilities to turn off lights when offices are not in use.

With the practical improvements, the city will now save 117,000 kWh or $16,700 in electricity costs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40.5 tons of CO2 every year.

Funds of $129,704 for the project completed in the 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:

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.