For Immediate Release: August 17, 2012
Media Contact: Kelly M. Kell - 916-654-4989


Water Pump Upgrade Saves Money for Sutter County Town

The City of Live Oak (Sutter County) is saving money through energy upgrades made possible by federal stimulus funds.

In February, the city contracted for the supply and installation of a new variable frequency drive (VFD) at Water Well #4 on Apricot Street. The facility is one of several city water wells used to supply drinking water to its residents.

A VFD is an electronic device that powers the water pump and regulates the flow of energy the pump uses by allowing the pump speed to change to meet the water supply demand. A new VFD enclosure was also installed. The new VFD replaced the single-speed control that was less energy efficient allowing the city to save money and reduce its carbon footprint.

The project was funded with a $45,998 grant from the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant program of the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Administered by the California Energy Commission, the federal block grants are contributing to the energy efficiency goals of small cities and counties.

By switching to a more energy-efficient VFD, Live Oak expects to save 48,680 kilowatt hours or $9,205 in energy costs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 16.7 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 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.