For Immediate Release: May 9, 2013
Media Contact: Kelly M. Kell - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Awards $1.4 Million in
Energy Efficiency Loans to School Districts, Fort Bragg

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission has awarded more than $1.4 million to several projects that will improve the energy efficiency of California cities and school districts. The funds come from the Commission's Energy Conservation Assistance Act (ECAA) program.

"Investing in energy efficiency pays huge dividends to our communities by reducing energy bills and improving learning environments," said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister. "Funding building upgrades translates to California jobs and economic activity. State-local partnerships have shown leadership in this area for decades: The Energy Commission has awarded nearly $303 million in loans to local governments, public K-12 schools, hospitals, and other agencies since 1979. These smart projects will also help shrink California's carbon footprint."

Collectively, the three projects are expected to reduce electricity demand by 861,662 kilowatt hours (kWh) and save $180,453 in annual energy costs. The combined $1,444,596 in energy loans for these projects are provided at a one percent interest rate for local governments, public K-12 schools, special districts, and public and non-profit hospitals and care facilities.

The projects are:
Placer Hills Union School District (Placer County) was awarded a $687,000 loan to install a 190 kilowatt roof-mounted solar electric system at Weimar Hills School in Weimar. The project is estimated to save the school $52,981 annually, reduce annual energy use by an estimated 295,000 kWh and have a simple payback of 13 years. Nearly 94 percent of the school's electricity will be produced by the solar electric system and net metering will be used to credit excess production back to the school.

City of Fort Bragg (Mendocino County) was awarded a $607,596 loan to install 12 energy efficiency measures at six city facilities. These measures include retrofitting interior and exterior lighting in city buildings, installing variable speed drives for the pumps and fans, installing new energy efficient digester gas boiler and heaters, and two solar photovoltaic systems. Other fixes include: replacing existing exit sign lights and parking lot lights with LED lighting and replacing an outdated, inefficient furnace at the fire station with a high efficiency unit. The city will use the Commission's loan and a PG&E rebate of $52,972 to install these measures. These projects are estimated to save about $80,634 annually and have a simple payback of 7.5 years. These energy efficiency projects will be installed at the wastewater treatment plant, police station, fire station, city yard, City Park and CV Star Swimming Pool Center. The PV systems, totaling 51 kW, will be placed at Bainbridge Park and the police station.

Winters Joint Unified School District (Yolo County) for a $150,000 loan to install a district-wide energy management system and retrofit various interior lighting at John Clayton School and the Administration Building. This project is estimated to save the school $46,838 annually, and reduce energy use by 234,600 kWh and 6,600 therms on their annual energy bills.

As of March 2013, the Energy Commission had awarded nearly 800 loans totaling approximately $303 million to local governments, public K-12 schools and hospitals, public care institutions and other agencies.

For more information on the ECAA loan program, visit:

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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.

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