Newsletter #3: May 2013


Bike Month

In celebration of Bike Month, we have been biking to work!  In preparation, everyone was provided with a packet of safety tips, general biking information and fun events.  To ramp up, Stephen Nakada, our resident Climate Corp member, created a calculator tool to monitor the collective GHG reductions, calories burned, miles biked and more.  Since everyone would not be able to bike, walking and alternative transportation data was added to the tool for tracking. This has been a great way to include more coworkers in using alternative transportation.  So far, the month has been filled with cycling, camaraderie and many bike related activities, including the office favorite, a weekly bike-to-lunch outing.  Early next month, we will have some numbers to share from the calculator tool.

Newsletter #2: March 2013

SmartLights Article in Parking Today: Lighting Upgrade Helps City Garage Post 45% Savings in Energy Costs


Oakland, California is implementing one of the country’s most ambitious energy and climate action plans, aiming to reduce building energy use in 2020 to 36% below 2005 levels. To help accomplish this goal and simultaneously transform an antiquated parking garage into an ultramodern, energy efficient facility, the city partnered with ABM and SmartLights, a commercial energy efficiency program offered by the East Bay Energy Watch through the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Local Government Partnership. The results, ABM said, are a dramatic 45% energy savings and new electronic vehicle (EV) charging stations – all with a net zero impact on the city’s budget.

With aging lighting equipment, the parking garage at 1250 Martin Luther King Way was identified by Oakland as the prime candidate for an energy retrofit.

The city also wanted to install EV charging stations to support sustainability efforts, but the parking garage didn’t have the power capacity. And Oakland officials wanted to do all this without increasing the city’s operating budget.

ABM installed state-of-the-art, high-efficiency, fluorescent and LED lighting, and wireless (Zigbee) lighting controls that reduced energy use by 45%.

The energy-saving enhancements also allowed for the installation of several ChargePoint EV charging stations, without the need to upgrade the facility’s existing electrical system.

Leveraging federal and local incentives, and low-interest financing from ABM, Oakland was able to pay for the entire project with its utility cost savings, and to contribute a positive cash flow to the existing budget.

Along with the significant energy reduction and new EV charging stations, other key benefits include:

• $54,965 reduction in annual energy costs.

• 342,654 kWh saved per year (equivalent to eliminating 246,046 lbs. of CO2 or planting 23.8 acres of pine forest).

• 2.9 year payback.

• Improved lighting quality and safety, as well as reduced maintenance.

Client Quote
“Our parking garage is now substantially upgraded. It’s safer, there’s less maintenance needed, and the quality is great.” – Scott Wentworth, Energy Engineer, City of Oakland, CA

Newsletter #1: February 2013

Multifamily SWEEP for Savings

CESC is rolling out the new year as a partner in the Multifamily Solid Waste and Energy Efficiency Program (SWEEP), which focuses on streamlining multiple programs and services to multifamily properties. The goal is to improve building’s energy efficiency and waste diversion strategies. In April 2012, Multifamily SWEEP was started by a working group in the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, with the goal of addressing the City of Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan and thereby reducing GHG emissions. This working group is a collaborative effort with many community members and organizations including: the City of Berkeley, the Berkeley Student Cooperative, the Ecology Center, and Rising Sun.

CESC will provide free energy and solar assessments to property owners. Also, there are a variety of free and low-cost home repair services for qualified low-income residents. Additionally, other partner organizations will be offering their services as a part of this multifaceted approach to promote energy upgrades and encourage sustainability at the community level.

This program will reach multi-unit dwellings, which are overlooked and often have large energy saving potential. Many property owners and tenants are simply unaware that these energy and waste programs exist locally and can serve their needs. The Multifamily SWEEP is well equipped in resources, expertise, and motivation to resolve these problems within Berkeley, and help advance the city’s efforts as a leader of local climate action.

For more information about this program, please call Joanna Perez-Green at: (510) 981-9818 or email:

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