For Immediate Release: January 31, 2012
Media Contact: Percy D. Della - 916-654-4989


Yolo County energy retrofit translates to cost savings

To improve energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint, Yolo County recently initiated energy retrofits at the courthouse in Woodland and a satellite administration building in Davis.

Courtesy of a federal block grant, the updates included installation of energy-efficient equipment and controls and replacement of high-pressure sodium lighting fixtures.

"Smart counties and cities are initiating ways to save on expenses. One practical step at their fingertips is cutting down on energy bills," said California Energy Commission Chair Dr. Robert Weisenmiller. "Federal stimulus funds are boosting the energy efficiency investments of California localities."

Funds totaling $129,238 for the project came from a block grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from the U.S. Department of Energy. Administered by the California Energy Commission, federal block grants are contributing to the energy efficiency goals of small cities and counties.

"These recent energy improvements are a part of Yolo County's efforts to turn the $16.6 million in grants and bonds it received from ARRA into jobs and benefits for our residents," said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair Jim Provenza. "The upgrade at both buildings further implements our county's Climate Action Plan targeted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels."

The existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system at the courthouse consisting of 34 water heat pumps, eight HVAC units and a water tower fan was outfitted with a computerized module and associated components to manage and independently provide each zone of the building with tempered air.

The facility in Davis was retrofitted with 17 modern, wall-mounted light fixtures that use less energy but glow brighter. A total of 26 high-pressure sodium vapor parking lot fixtures were replaced with energy efficient and longer-lasting light emitting diodes (LED).

With this energy upgrade completed in December, Yolo County expects to save 107,000 kWh or $17,900 in energy costs and reduce greenhouse emissions by 37 tons every 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 to 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.