|The City of Chula Vista has received funding from the California Energy Commission to implement energy-efficiency measures in six municipal facilities. The retrofits will reduce energy consumption at city buildings by 12 percent and save taxpayers more than $180,000 in energy costs annually.
The low-interest, $607,000 California Energy Commission loan will pay for more efficient lighting and energy-saving improvements to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, water pumps and air-handling systems. The annual electricity saved from the retrofits – about 1.4 million kilowatt-hours – is enough to power 2,800 homes for a month. The natural gas savings of 14,000 therms from the improvements are equivalent to the monthly use of about 310 homes.
The upgrades cap two years of analysis of city facilities by energy experts, funded through a $2.2 million dollar partnership grant from San Diego Gas & Electric. In addition to audits to determine potential energy savings at city-owned facilities, the grant also pays for energy assessments and lighting conversions at South Bay businesses; lighting exchanges for city residents; and a variety of energy-efficiency education and outreach programs.
Energy efficiency is just one aspect of Chula Vista’s broad commitment to reducing its “carbon footprint.” Since 1996, the city has been implementing municipal and community-wide programs
to reduce its annual “greenhouse gas” or carbon emissions which contribute to climate change.
Greenhouse gases are mainly released from the burning of fossil fuels to generate energy and to power vehicles. In 2003, Chula Vista was awarded the U.S. EPA Climate Protection Award for decreasing these emissions. More recently, the city has reconvened a community-based Climate Change Working Group to develop recommendations to further reduce carbon emissions.
“Chula Vista and SDG&E have built an exemplary partnership to reduce energy use and reduce the city’s carbon footprint,” said Hal Snyder, SDG&E’s vice president of customer service. “The city’s willingness to take the steps toward a greener, cleaner environment has benefits for all of us, and we commend Chula Vista’s leadership.”