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Energy Commission Funds Community Energy Efficiency Projects Through Loans

By Media Office Staff

The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded multimillion-dollar, low-interest loans to Santa Barbara County and the City of Gustine for planned energy efficiency projects in their communities.

Santa Barbara County received $2,736,751, and Gustine received $2,249,604. Both loans were approved during the CEC business meeting in August.

The funds come from the CEC’s Energy Conservation Assistance Act (ECAA) program, which offers two programs for energy efficiency and energy generation projects. One is a 1 percent rate loan to cities, counties, special districts, public colleges and universities, public care institutions, and public hospitals. The other is a competitive zero-interest rate loan to public school districts, charter schools, county offices of education, and state special schools.

Santa Barbara county officials plan to install two photovoltaic (PV) systems at a government office center and a fire station. The two systems will total 767 kilowatts, and along with upgrades to LED, save the county 1.7 gigawatt hours of electricity consumption and about $280,000 annually.

Gustine city officials plan to install energy efficiency lighting and PV systems at city hall, fire department, police department, public works building, community center, and tennis courts. The small city also plans to upgrade a domestic water supply well pump to a state-of-the-art electronic control system. The city’s improvements will save the city about 880,000 kilowatt hours of electricity consumption and about $140,000 annually.

“For a small city to commit substantial financial resources to clean energy shows great leadership, even more so when projects employ best practices by integrating diverse energy efficiency and renewable energy measures,” said CEC Commissioner Andrew McAllister. “We are fortunate to be able to offer zero- and low-interest loans for such investments.”

Photo courtesy of City of Gustine

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