County of Marin - News Releases - Marin Energy Watch Partnership

For Immediate Release
March 04, 2016

Board Commits $3.15 Million to Energy Efficiency

Contracts with PG&E and nonprofits extended to help residents, businesses

San Rafael, CA – With energy efficiency as its goal, the County of Marin is using state grant money to continue the Marin Energy Watch Partnership, a successful collaboration that has led to significant local greenhouse gas emission reductions.

A man reaches up toward a ceiling to unscrew and old light bulb to install a more energy efficient one.Swapping old bulbs for higher efficiency bulbs is part of Marin Energy Watch Partnership’s Smart Lights Program.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors approved a new agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) during its March 1 meeting to have the utility serve as an administrator for $3.15 million in funds earmarked for the local energy savings initiative. The PG&E agreement extends the partnership through the end of 2018.

“Continuing the relationship with PG&E means that our Marin businesses, residents and public agencies will have access to energy efficiency resources and incentives to complete projects that save energy and money,” said Dana Armanino, Sustainability Planner with the Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA).

The California Public Utilities Commission collects funds from all utility ratepayers and distributes them throughout the state via administrators such as PG&E. Ratepayers can see a “public goods” charge on their power bills to see how much they contribute. The County, PG&E and Marin Clean Energy (MCE) work together to ensure that Marin property owners and renters have access to programs and resources that fit their energy efficiency projects.

In the first year of the new agreement with PG&E, two Berkeley-based nonprofits will receive funding to continue programs that benefit Marin residents and businesses. The Community Energy Services Corporation received $445,500 to provide energy services and incentives to local commercial businesses through its Smart Light Program. Rising Sun Energy Center received $207,000 to help residents through its California Youth Energy Services program.

The two agreements were brought forth by the County’s Sustainability Team, which has developed programs to promote renewable energy and support energy efficiency since 1999.

The Marin Energy Watch Partnership, established in 2006, has completed projects that have saved Marin residents, businesses and public agencies approximately 23 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year (the average Marin home uses about 7,000 kWh annually). The program includes:

  • the Marin Energy Management Team, which offers energy efficiency services to local town/city governments, school districts and special districts;
  • the Smart Lights Program, which supplies energy efficiency audits for businesses;
  • California Youth Energy Services, which trains youths to handle home energy audits and installation of efficiency measures, and;
  • the Strategic Energy Plan Program, which supports the municipal government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by funding the Marin Climate and Energy Partnership.

The new agreements do not impact the County’s General Fund.

The County’s Sustainability Team supports healthy, safe and sustainable communities while preserving Marin’s unique environmental heritage. The team has developed programs to promote renewable energy, address climate change, encourage green building, recognize green businesses and support energy efficiency. Learn more about climate planning, “green” building, the Green Business program and other energy programs on its webpage,


Dana Armanino
Principal Planner, Sustainability Team
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-3292
Email: Dana Armanino
CDA Sustainability website