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Energy-Efficient Upgrades for County Buildings

February 08, 2011

Energy-efficiency upgrades are scheduled to be completed this year on many Placer County buildings, including the Auburn Historic Courthouse, several branch libraries and more than a dozen old buildings at the DeWitt Center in North Auburn.

At a meeting in Auburn Tuesday, the Placer County Board of Supervisors appropriated funds for the project and approved the final list of almost 30 buildings scheduled for upgrades.

In a report to the board, the county Facility Services Department noted that the county expects to spend slightly less than $100,000 from its Building Fund on the project and to recoup its investment through reduced energy costs within about three years.

Most of the project’s estimated cost of $933,013 will be funded with a federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant of up to $606,540. The grant program was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and is managed in California by the state Energy Commission.

The Administrative Office of the Courts, the staff agency for the Judicial Council of California, has pledged approximately $94,092 for energy-efficiency improvements at the Historic Courthouse. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Mother Lode Energy Consultants worked with county staff to prepare a feasibility study for the project, and PG&E has offered rebates and incentives worth almost $133,000.

Both the Historic Courthouse and a housing unit at the Placer County Jail in North Auburn will get new heating and air conditioning systems. Most of the other buildings on the list are slated for improvements such as thermostats, lighting and air conditioning controls, and devices that monitor and help reduce overall energy consumption.

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