Greening the County Fairgrounds
In 2010, all of the lighting fixtures were replaced with energy-efficient bulbs and fixtures in the Marin Veteran's Memorial Auditorium. Thanks to support from the CA Energy Commission, the 39-year old HVAC was replaced with a modern, energy-efficient unit. Together, these improvements result in an estimated annual savings of 160,700 kWh and cost savings of $20,000 annually.
All of the lighting fixtures in the Exhibit Hall and Meeting Rooms were replaced with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. This lighting retrofit creates savings of nearly $20,000 per year, while improving lighting levels and quality. The 35-year old HVAC units in the Exhibit Hall were replaced with five new energy-efficient units, resulting in cost savings of about $28,500 per year, while improving comfort and reliability; and energy-efficient LED lighting was also installed on the marquee reader board on Highway 101.
Mill Valley Middle School Lighting Retrofit
Before Lighting Retrofit
After Lighting Retrofit
From a City of Mill Valley press release (8/11/10)...Students and teachers returning to school this fall at the Mill Valley Middle School will be learning and teaching in classrooms with new, energy efficient lighting. The lighting in all classrooms- about 1300 lamps-was replaced with energy efficient lights. The retrofit is estimated to reduce energy use by 125,000 kWh annually, which will save the school district about $18,750 each year.
"The quality of the light from the new lamps is amazing. And we have achieved this improvement to our learning environment while reducing our energy use and saving money," said Tim Ryan, director of maintenance and operations for the Mill Valley School District.
Several school officials echoed Ryan's appreciation for the quality of the lighting and the improvement of the learning environment, including Matt Huxley, Principal of the Mill Valley Middle School who said, "If you could see the difference in the before and after, you would be amazed. This will be a wonderful enhancement to the learning environment."
Anna Lazzarini, Assistant Principal noted that, "The whole inside of the building looks like it has been renovated- that's how dramatic the difference is between the old and new lights!"
The lighting upgrade was made possible by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant to the City of Mill Valley from the California Energy Commission. "We are pleased to have been able to secure the funds for this retrofit.," said Carol Misseldine, Mill Valley's Sustainability Director. "Reduced energy use translates into reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and we're hoping the School District's success will inspire others to install energy efficient lighting."
Numerous local, state and federal agencies were involved in the project including the City of Mill Valley, the Mill Valley School District, the Marin Energy Watch Partnership (a program of the County of Marin and PG&E), the California Energy Commission, the Department of Energy, and HMW International.
"This is a great example of inter-agency cooperation, and we are grateful to all the individuals and agencies that facilitated this cost effective and educationally sound project," said Ken Benny, Superintendent of the Mill Valley School District.
Students Offer Free Energy Audits
From the Marin Independent Journal - 8/1/2008: Students offer free energy audits to Marin homeowners...
Marin residents are being invited to go green without spending any green.
The California Youth Energy Services program, put on by the Berkeley-based nonprofit Rising Sun Energy Center, is offering free summer home energy audits to Marin residents.
The program, featured professionally trained youth energy specialists, often from impoverished communities, who visit homes, install energy-saving equipment, provide energy efficiency tips and give out free compact fluorescent light bulbs, showerheads and clothes lines. By the end of the program, organizers estimate they will have visited about 450 Marin homes.
"It's a free service to the community," said Alex Cotton, outreach manager. "We're training young people Energy audit of a home in San Rafael and getting them on a green career path. The future of the economy is green."
On Friday, San Rafael homeowner Patricia Lord had her incandescent light bulbs changed out, water pressure assessed, faucet aerators replaced and other home features evaluated.
"Anything you can do to cut down on extra waste is good," said the 68-year-old retired nurse, who has lived in her Sun Valley home since 1976.
The students, who moved from room to room evaluating fixtures and performing change-outs, said it was a great way to spend the summer.
"I like doing what I do, educating the public about being green," said San Francisco State University student Cynthia Beltran of Novato, who audited Lord's home on Friday.
Her partner, Harry Regan, a San Marin High School graduate who will be attending the University of California at Santa Cruz in the fall, said he felt like he was giving back.
"I just actually feel like I was doing something with my summer - helping the environment, saving energy, doing a good thing," he said.
The California Youth Energy Services program runs through Friday, Aug. 8. Marin residents can schedule a free appointment by calling 510-665-1501.
This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by PG&E under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. "PG&E" refers to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation. © 2013 Pacific Gas and Electric Company. All rights reserved.