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December 19, 2007 > City Completes Two Energy Conservation Projects

City Completes Two Energy Conservation Projects

Submitted By Dan Schoenholz

As part of its green building efforts, the City of Fremont recently completed two energy conservation projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save the City money.

At the City's Development Services Center, located at 39550 Liberty St., the City replaced 1,064 old fluorescent lights with newer, more efficient lights. The change will save the City an estimated $22,000 per year, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 tons. The total project cost was $37,000, but because the City received financial incentives through a PG&E-sponsored program for municipalities called Energy Watch, the cost to the City was only $16,000.

At the City's Senior Center, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units needed to be replaced because they were at the end of their useful lives. As a result, the City took the opportunity to look for energy efficiencies for the new HVAC system. Key upgrades included:

- Sub-dividing the building into more occupant user zones for better management of temperatures, comfort, and energy use

- Tying the building into the City's centralized computerized energy management system

- Using heat wheels, an innovative product that recovers a portion of the heat in the exhaust air to either pre-cool or pre-heat the incoming air needed in the building. (Fremont is the first city in California to use the heat wheels product.)

- Installing a new centralized energy efficient boiler

- Putting in a new on-demand hot water heater to reduce the consumption of energy

This project cost $520,000 in total; the added costs to upgrade for energy efficiency are projected to pay for themselves through energy savings in five to seven years. The project is anticipated to save about 30 percent on the Senior Center's utility bill and to reduce greenhouse gases by about 20 tons annually.

"The City continues to do its part to make Fremont a 'greener' city," City Manager Fred Diaz said. "When the outcome also saves money, it's a win-win for everyone, including the City, the Fremont community, and the environment."

The City is currently conducting energy audits of additional City-buildings and hopes to initiate more energy efficiency projects in the coming months as part of its Green Building policy.

To learn more about the City's Sustainable Building and Landscaping policy that was adopted by the City Council in July 2006, visit www.fremont.gov/Environment/GreenBuilding.

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