For Immediate Release: August 8, 2012
Media Contact: Kelly M. Kell - 916-654-4989


Pinole Shopping District Goes Green, Saves Money

The small city of Pinole (Contra Costa County) is basking in the glow of energy savings.

Thanks to federal stimulus funds, the streetlights along Fitzgerald Drive have been retrofitted with Light Emitting Diodes (LED).

Fitzgerald Drive is a busy commercial corridor and many people visit the area to enjoy its shopping district. City officials say that the lights are a welcome addition because their glow refreshes the area and provides increased lighting and safety, while saving energy and money.

LEDs are more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lights and require less maintenance. The lights are expected to save the city 22,000 kilowatt hours or $2,900 in annual energy costs and reduce its CO2 emissions by 7.5 tons every year.

The project, completed in April, was funded by a $60,555 grant from the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block (EECBG) program of the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The city was able to stretch their grant dollars by having city workers install the new lights.

The EECBG program is administered by the California Energy Commission to help small cities and counties throughout the state attain 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.

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.