Truckee utility ranks high for energy efficiency |

Truckee utility ranks high for energy efficiency

TRUCKEE and#8212; The Truckee Donner Public Utility District topped the list in 2008 for energy efficiency in Californiaand#8217;s public power districts.

The district was at the top of the California Energy Commissionand#8217;s list for energy efficiency and cost effectiveness among the 39 publicly-owned electric utilities in California.

As required by state law, every customer of the district pays a fee on their bill each month to fund energy conservation programs within the district. The utility companies are then required to spend at least 2.85 percent of their retail sales on public benefit programs including energy efficiency efforts. In 2008, the district exceeded that required amount, spending 3.51 percent of their revenue on public benefits and energy conservation programs.

The districtand#8217;s investment in cost-effective energy efficiency programs has paid off. The 2008 report calculated that the 2008 programs reduced energy usage by 3 percent in the first year. The district was able to reduce this energy usage for a fraction of the cost had the customer purchased the power.

The district achieved these results by investing in cost-effective energy efficiency programs that focus on lighting, appliances, weatherization, heating, and hot water use.

For example, the districtand#8217;s million compact flourescent light bulb program gave away more than 50,000 energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs in 2008.

One of the most effective programs enacted in 2008 was a weatherization program at the Truckee Donner Senior Center Apartments. In partnership with Nevada County and the apartment complex owners, the district provided funding for new energy efficient windows, attic insulation, and weatherization. The report looked at the overall cost effectiveness of this weatherization project and found a range of 19-33 percent energy and cost savings during the Nov. 2008 through Feb. 2009 time period. That amounts to as much as $50 in savings per resident per month on their energy bills. The program was viewed as a huge success not only for the energy and cost savings, but for the increased comfort and pride the seniors have in their homes.

and#8220;We are thrilled that the district was able to make an investment in our local senior community. Last yearand#8217;s weatherization project is reducing their energy usage up to 33 percent this winter. For many of these folks who are on a fixed income, this kind of relief couldnand#8217;t have come at a better time,and#8221; said district board member Joe Aguera.

For a complete listing of the 2009 programs (many of which provide free services and products and/or cash rebates) visit or call the conservation office at (530) 582-3931.

A new program called Keep Your Cool makes Humitech technicians available to visit businesses and replace leaking gaskets, and install automatic door closers, free of charge.

These energy savings can add up to hundreds of dollars each month on a businessand#8217; utility bills.

and#8220;We are working closely with our business customers to deliver programs that save energy and put money back into local businesses,and#8221; Michael Holley, district general manager, said. and#8220;There is a definite potential for Truckee businesses to save up to thousands of dollars per year on their electric bills.and#8221;

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