The City Council voted unanimously to give residents a break Tuesday night by directing federal stimulus funds towards home energy conservation.
At a cost of $288,000, the city will have three to six contractors conduct energy audits of over 1,500 homes over the next two years. The audits will inform renters and homeowners alike on how they can save money on energy bills, and several devices and appliances could be given to homeowners free of charge or at a discount to help save energy.
The city is receiving a total of $719,000 in stimulus funds aimed at energy conservation and job creation. In addition to the home energy audits, the city will also be installing LED light bulbs on some of the Cuesta Tennis courts, and will replace the turbines at Shoreline Park that turn the methane gas from the former landfill into electricity. The council decided to pass on the option of using some of the money to create a green building code.
The audits are expected to save 3.4 million pounds of greenhouse gases annually, while the lights and turbines, as proposed, would save 82,561 and 334,912 pounds, respectively.