For Immediate Release: November 28, 2012
Media Contact: Kelly M. Kell — 916-654-4989


Yuba County Shines in Energy Savings

The County of Yuba is saving energy and money thanks to federal funds.

More than 3,000 interior and exterior lights, including streetlights, were retrofitted to energy efficient technologies. County-owned buildings including the Yuba County courthouse and government center switched to low-wattage fluorescent lights and electronic ballasts. 230 occupancy sensors designed to turn off lights when offices are not in use were also installed.

Streetlights were retrofitted with Light Emitting-Diodes (LED) a technology which uses less energy and is longer lasting. The lighting upgrades will reduce the county's energy use and maintenance costs and enhance the quality of lighting for residents.

Variable frequency drives (VFD) in the courthouse's air conditioning system were replaced with new, efficient models. VFDs electronically control and regulate the amount of energy used by the air conditioning unit.

The county of 72,000 residents is expected to save 470,052 kilowatt hours or $61,107 in energy costs yearly and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 16 tons annually.

Completed in June, the Yuba County project was paid for by a $328,900 grant from the Energy Efficiency and 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 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 more than 200 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