Energy Commission Approves More Than $3.6 Million in Loans for Energy Efficient Upgrades

News Release – Energy Commission Approves More Than $3.6 Million in Loans for Energy Efficient Upgrades

For Immediate Release: September 7, 2011
Media Contact: Sandy Louey – 916-654-4989
Energy Commission Approves More Than $3.6 Million
in Loans for Energy Efficient Upgrades

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission today approved three low-interest loans totaling more than $3.6 million for energy improvements for local communities and a state prison.

“These upgrades are brightening local communities by replacing inefficient lighting and making streets safer with better illumination,” said Energy Commission Chair Dr. Robert Weisenmiller. “Once in place, these smart improvements will save collectively more than $500,000 every year.”

Funds for the loans come from the Commission’s Energy Conservation Assistance Act (ECAA), which extends low-interest loans to cities, counties and public or non-profit schools, hospitals and public care facilities that are interested in energy efficiency and energy generation projects. The loans have a three percent interest rate.

Here is a summary of the approved loans:

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will receive a $2,056,229 loan for lighting upgrades at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran (Kings County). The project will replace 14,999 inefficient lighting fixtures. Each year, the upgrades will save approximately 3.63 million kilowatt hours (kWh) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,249 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The project is expected to reduce energy costs by $330,568 a year. The total cost of the energy improvement project is $2,927,727, with the $871,498 not covered by the loan coming from utility incentives. The payback period for the loan is 6.2 years.

Yuba City will use a $1,345,487 loan to retrofit its street lights. The project will convert 3,338 street lights to LED technology. Replacing the inefficient street lights is projected to cut energy use by more than one million kWh annually and reap $122,317 in energy savings each year. The retrofit project will remove about 347 tons of CO2 emissions a year. LED street lights will reduce maintenance costs for the city and produce higher light quality for the public. The total cost of the project is $1,560,587. The $215,100 not covered by the loan will come from a utility rebate. The payback period for the loan is 11 years.

Glenn County will receive a $243,000 loan to install new energy efficient HVAC systems and interior lights. The loan will come from ECAA and federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. The county plans to use the loan to install three HVAC systems at the county auditor’s office building and the Jane Hahn Juvenile Hall in Willows and the Orland Administration Building in Orland. The county also plans to replace old fluorescent lamps and inefficient ballasts with new energy efficient lights in 16 county facilities.

Annually, Glenn County’s HVAC and new energy efficient lighting projects are expected to cut energy use by 193,276 kWh and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 153,000 pounds. Energy costs will drop by $57,000 a year, with $33,170 coming from the lighting and HVAC improvements.

The total cost of the projects is $352,666. In addition to the loan, the county will use an $88,666 grant from the Energy Commission through its Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program and a $21,000 rebate from PG&E to install the projects. The EECBG program is allocating funds to California’s small cities and counties for energy efficiency programs using ARRA money. The county is expected to repay the loan in 6.7 years after the PG&E rebate.

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