High Sierra Energy Foundation, the local group self-elected to promote the benefits of energy conservation and efficiency, is back on the radar. In the summer of 2011, the entire board decided to step down, hoping for new members and a fresh start to the program.
The foundation and partner Southern California Edison gave a presentation Monday to the Bishop City Council on its past and future endeavors. According to SCE, it has been promoting and making headway against energy loss and inefficiency with its Energy Action Plan.
Rick Phelps, executive director of the foundation, first introduced two new board members, Martin Federspiel, a Mammoth Lakes contractor, and Naomi Jensen Garcia of TEAM Engineering and Management.
Jesse Langley, SCE project manager, described how the cooperation of local entities led to a major success for last year’s energy-efficiency programs. Langley works as liaison and coordinator between the foundation, SCE and Inyo and Mono counties.
The Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program allowed local businesses to receive a free inspection and evaluation of current energy-efficiency and then free supplies and labor for installation of energy-saving devices.
The program focused on lighting and electrical use. One money-saving device is an occupancy sensor. “Sensor lighting controls that turn off lighting when a space is unoccupied can reduce energy use by up to 50 percent,” states an SCE flier.
SCE estimates the Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program will save local business owners and shop keeps more than $80,000 annually on electrical bills thanks to more than $235,000 in retrofitting.
“It’s great to see the community involvement and more community progress to come,” Langley told the council.
Dan Brady, local public information officer for SCE, said that an energy-efficient program aimed at manufactured and mobile homes will come around again this year. Brady said the program for mobiles and manufactured homes started last year, was cut short due to budget restraints. He added that the program will return full-bore for 2012.
Brady added that SCE’s program does very little if any overlap on the weatherization and energy-efficiency programs offered by the Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action.
SCE also offered a plaque and resolution of appreciation on Monday to the City of Bishop and the council for its 125 years of partnerships.