For Immediate Release: February 24, 2012
Media Contact: Kelly Kell - 916-654-4989


Calimesa Flips the Switch for Energy Savings

The small city of Calimesa (Riverside County) will see big savings thanks to energy upgrades paid for by federal stimulus funds and a low-interest state loan.

Three city buildings, City Hall, the City Hall Annex and the Norton Younglove Senior Center located at 908 Park Avenue, were retrofitted with cost-saving lights and heating, ventilation and air conditioning units (HVAC.)

About 600 indoor and outdoor lamps, including illuminated exit signs, were upgraded to energy efficient bulbs with the latest electronic ballasts. Outdoor lights were replaced with light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures that automatically turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn. The buildings were also outfitted with sensors that switch off lights when offices are not in use. Increased lighting will provide enhanced safety for workers and increase security around the buildings, all while saving energy and money.

The city improved the HVAC systems in all three buildings by installing nine high-efficient HVAC units and new thermostats. Calimesa residents will benefit from the enhanced HVAC system in the Norton Younglove Senior Center because it is a designated county cool center during extreme heat conditions in the summer. The upgrade, completed last December, will save the city 43,000 kilowatt-hours which is about $8,000 in energy costs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15.5 tons of CO2 every year.

The entire project cost $87,750 and was paid for by two sources.

The city of 7,800 residents received a grant from the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant program of the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The grants are administered by the California Energy Commission. Calimesa also received a low-interest ARRA-funded loan from the Commission's Energy Conservation Assistance Account (ECAA).

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Federal stimulus funds to small cities and counties awarded under the ARRA's Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) and administered by the Energy Commission are providing more than $33 million to 201 to eligible localities throughout California. Large cities and counties are receiving funding directly from the US DOE. For more information about ARRA funded programs, click on:

As of January 2012, nearly $270 million in ECAA loans to local governments, public schools and hospitals, public care institutions and other agencies have been allocated to more than 750 recipients. For more information on the ECAA loan program, visit:

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.