For Immediate Release: March 1, 2012
Media Contact: Percy D. Della - 916-654-4989


Mendocino County Utilizes Stimulus Funds to Cut Energy Use

Utilizing federal stimulus funds, the County of Mendocino has completed a series of energy efficiency projects that is projected to cut its energy costs and carbon footprint.

A federal grant of $341,200 enabled the county to proceed with a large-scale lighting retrofit and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning upgrades at 12 county facilities in Ukiah.

By ramping up its energy efficiency efforts, the County will save 450,000 kilowatt-hours and 3,500 therms of natural gas - or $54,000 in energy costs annually - and reduce its CO2 emissions by 175 tons every year.

"This is great news for taxpayers and environmentalists in Mendocino County," said Board of Supervisors Chair John McCowen. "This project complements our move to transfer several offices from leased spaces to county-owned buildings to save energy and money for years into the future."

"The budget savings are welcome at a time when so many other expenses keep going up," added County Chief Executive Officer Carmel Angelo.

Funds for the project, completed earlier this year were courtesy of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Administered by the California Energy Commission, federal block grants are meant to help small cities and counties realize their energy efficiency targets.

About 4,410 standard efficiency bulbs were switched to a variety of lamps that glow brighter but use less power at the Main Jail, Veterans Building, the Courthouse Annex, Mental Health Office, General Services Agency, Mental Health Modular Unit, Administration Center, Juvenile Probation Office, the Sheriff's Office, Agriculture Office, Adult Detention Facility and the County Jail Kitchen.

The county's energy retrofits replaced outdated HVAC units with premium efficiency equipment outfitted with direct digital controls (DDC) at the Main Jail. DDC upgrades were also completed at the Courthouse Annex, Administration Center, Sheriff's/911 Communications Center and the Agriculture Office.

The DDC improvements will reduce run times of the HVAC units by regulating start and stop intervals, and automatically reducing load with set-point controls. The DDC setup will completely turn off the HVAC systems on holidays when the facilities are vacant.

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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.