For Immediate Release: September 14, 2012
Media Contact: Kelly M. Kell - 916-654-4989


Federal Funds Increases Energy Efficiency and Safety of Desert Community

The town of Desert Hot Springs (Riverside County) is saving money thanks to federal stimulus funds.

In June, the city completed a project to install energy efficient interior lighting, traffic signals, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units at various city owned facilities and intersections.

The Police Department building on Pierson Boulevard switched out more than 150 interior T12 lamps and magnetic ballasts to more efficient T8 lamps and electronic ballasts.

The Carl May Center, Boys and Girls Club Building, and Senior Center replaced outdated and inefficient HVAC systems with new, high efficient models. The new HVAC units will keep patrons cool in the desert heat while reducing energy costs.

In addition, traffic and pedestrian cross walk signals at ten city intersections were replaced with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Compared to traditional lights, LEDs use less energy, last longer, and are almost maintenance free. Increased lighting at the intersections will increase road safety, while saving the city money.

Desert Hot Springs officials say they greatly appreciate the leadership and assistance the Energy Commission has provided the city to help residents and business reduce energy consumption and save money.

The project completed in June is expected to save the city 291,475 kilowatt hours or $36,500 in energy costs yearly and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 201,118 pounds of C02 emissions annually.

Completed in June, the project was paid for by a $137,872 grant from the Energy Efficient Conservation Block program of the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Administered by the California Energy Commission, the federal grants are contributing to the energy efficiency goals of small cities and counties.

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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.

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