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


Marin County Sees Big Energy Savings Thanks to Federal Funds

Marin County is reducing its energy use and saving money thanks to energy upgrades paid for by federal stimulus funds and a low-interest state loan.

The Bay Area County of 250,000 residents completed several energy upgrade projects at the County Jail, Civic Center, Gnoss Field Airport, and streetlights throughout the county.

The County Jail installed an Ozone Laundry System which purifies the water and cleans the laundry through the use of ozone in cold water instead of hot water and chemicals. This process uses less water than traditional methods and eliminates the need to heat water, thereby saving money on water and energy costs.

The historic Marin County Civic Center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, also received several energy upgrades. The Administration and Hall of Justice buildings received insulated wall panels on the interior of the mall walls and spray on attic insulation which keeps the area cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The 400,000 square foot building, which houses more than 1,000 workers, also received a new hot water boiler and energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures in the parking lot.

In addition to the Civic Center, more than 1,500 streetlights throughout the county were converted from high pressure sodium lamps to LED fixtures. LED lights use about 40 percent less energy, last longer and are nearly maintenance free. Parking lot lights at the Gnoss Field Airport were also retrofitted to LEDs.

The upgrades completed in April are expected to save the county 547,565 kilowatt hours or $127,000 in energy costs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 440 tons annually.

Total costs for the upgrades were $1.7 million and was paid for by a $376,953 grant and a $1,054,869 low-interest loan. The difference in cost was paid for by the city.

Marin County received the grant from the Energy Efficient Conservation Block program under the American Recovery and Reinvest Act (ARRA). The grants are administered by the California Energy Commission. The county also received a low-interest ARRA-funded loan from the Commission's Energy Conservation Assistance Account (ECAA).

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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 more than 200 eligible localities throughout California. Large cities and counties are receiving funding directly from the US DOE.

As of September 2012, more than $270 million in ECAA loans to local governments, public schools and hospitals, public care institutions and other agencies have been allocated to more than 770 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