Alameda County’s Revolving Energy Fund

Since the mid-1990s, Alameda County’s Energy Program, under the County’s General Services Agency (GSA), has been able to continually implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in County facilities. Two programs fund this success: a Designated Energy Fund and a departmental utility bill surcharge. Through a Demand-side energy saving program with PG&E to reduce energy use and demand, the County was able to amass $3,000,000 in incentives over 10 years. With these incentives, the County established an energy “incentives” fund. The Energy Fund has been used to fill financing gaps, purchase and install more efficient equipment, and to subsidize on-site energy generation projects with long payback periods. Having the money for a project was not enough. To operate the program, the County adopted a utility surcharge on the utility bills for each County department. The surcharge covers the cost to staff the Energy Program that manages energy efficiency and renewable energy project development, quality control, savings analysis, and financing.