SJVCEO tackles energy efficiency retrofits

We are finally moving ahead with a $4 million energy efficiency project that's been in bureaucratic limbo for the past eight months.

Back in January, the staff of the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, the Air District and officials from 33 Valley cities and three counties submitted applications to the California Energy Commission for energy saving retrofits on municipal buildings. The money was a direct allocation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act given to cities aross the nation to jump start the economy.

That jump start, at least in our case, was somewhat delayed. However, state officials now say they're raring to go.

The SJVCEO provides the administration duties for these Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants. The duties were far greater than advertised and required quite a bit of data collection after the original submission date.

And we've got a lot more to go. I suspect it will take us a couple of weeks (or more) to gather permits, fill out waste management plans and fill in all the unanswered questions required in the CEC's multi-page reporting form.

Projects involve replacing lights, pumps and AC units.

But at least we can get to work and free up this money meant to create jobs. Optimistically, I believe work will start before the end of the year.