For Immediate Release: April 25, 2012
Media Contact: Kelly Kell - 916-654-4989


Santa Rita Adds More Energy Efficiency with Stimulus Funds

The Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, the first in the country to build its own micro-grid, has chalked up another energy milestone.

The jail -- which recently dedicated an on-site battery to generate its own renewable electricity when power rates are at their highest and switch off from the main grid -- has also turned to energy efficient lighting to save more on electricity costs.

Under the lighting retrofit completed last year, more than 400 high-pressure sodium and metal halide lights at the jail were replaced with induction lights that consume 60 percent less energy, emit less carbon into the air, and are virtually maintenance free.

The new lights, now shining on the yard, warehouse, and exterior walls of the jail, will provide enhanced safety and security for staff and inmates, while drastically cutting power expenses.

By switching to energy-efficient lighting, Alameda County expects to save 753,781 kilowatt hours or $81,718 in annual energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 260 tons every year.

The project was funded by a $300,000 grant from the US Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Program (EECBG).

The EECBG program, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is administered by the California Energy Commission to help small cities and counties throughout the state attain their energy-efficiency goals.

# # #

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.