For Immediate Release: October 10, 2012
Media Contact: Kelly M. Kell - 916-654-4989


Nearly $5 Million in Energy Loans Awarded to
Northern California Communities

City of Napa, Santa Clara County to Improve Energy Efficiency of Buildings and Street Lights

SACRAMENTO - Improving the energy efficiency of two Northern California communities, the California Energy Commission today awarded more than $4.8 million in loans for energy upgrades.

"These energy projects are improving local communities by replacing inefficient building equipment and making streets safer with better illumination," said Energy Commission Chair Dr. Robert B. Weisenmiller. "Once completed, these simple improvements will save more than a half million in energy costs annually."

The Bay Area county of Santa Clara received $2,991,209 million to improve the energy efficiency of the County Government Center facility located in San Jose. Built in 1976, the 400,000 square foot multi-story facility will undergo several retrofit measures. The project will include the installation of a new lighting system consisting of energy saving Light Emitting Diodes (LED), T-8 fluorescent lamps, ballasts and occupancy controls designed to automatically turn off lights when they are not in use.

In addition, the building's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system will convert older, inefficient boilers and a chilled water plant to more energy efficient models. Energy consumption will be further reduced by the consolidation and virtualization of computer servers and desktops, and the installation of smart power strips which shuts down the electricity of electronic devices when not in use.

The project is expected to save Santa Clara County 3,161,697 kilowatt hours of electricity and 61,091 therms of natural gas. The combined annual energy savings is estimated at $470,000 per year and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1,447 tons.

The City of Napa also received $1,907,136 million to retrofit exiting streetlights to energy efficient technologies. More than 4,700 streetlights throughout the city will be retrofitted to Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and induction lighting. Both technologies use less energy and are longer lasting compared to older lighting technology.

The total cost of the project is expected to be $2,333,677. In addition to the Energy Commission loan, the project will be financed by the city and approximately $261,000 in rebates from Pacific Gas & Electric Company. The project is expected to save 1,488,185 kilowatt hours or $173,376 in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,078 tons per year.

The combined $4,898,345 in loans for these projects comes from the Energy Commission's Energy Conservation Assistance Act (ECAA) program which grants energy loans at a three percent interest rate for local governments, schools from K-12, special districts, and public and private care facilities.

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As of January 2012, nearly $270 million in ECAA loans to local governments, public schools and hospitals, public care institutions and other agencies have been allocated to more than 750 recipients. For more information on the ECAA loan program, visit:

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