County of Marin - News Releases - Virtual Bike Tour

For Immediate Release
August 24, 2016

How a Virtual Bike Tour Could Save You Cash

Educational tool from Energy Upgrade California on display in San Rafael

San Rafael, CA – How would you like a fun experience with virtual reality that could end up saving you money? Energy Upgrade California, a state initiative that helps Californians save energy and conserve natural resources, has brought its virtual reality bike simulator to San Rafael’s Northgate Mall through September 11.

A woman rides a stationary bike while wearing a headset and googles as she demonstrates the virtual bike tour.Jessica Truong, assistant bike tour manager, demonstrates the virtual reality bike.
The kid-friendly demonstration near the mall’s movie theater gives Marin residents an opportunity to see the impact of their energy decisions first-hand. By putting on a virtual reality headset and pedaling the bike, participants are able to coast through California’s diverse landscape – including mountains, forests, beaches and urban spaces. Participants then answer energy-related questions that impact the virtual experience. Responses that positively impact the environment illustrate California thriving, and less environmentally-conscious decisions result in environmental deterioration.

“I tried it and I liked the virtual illustration of how basic energy decisions can really collectively create a big impact on the state’s power grid,” said Kellen Dammann, the marketing and outreach coordinator for the County of Marin’s Sustainability Team. “We hope that by attending the exhibit, people will realize how they can save energy around the home and learn that they have more tools at their disposal to make their homes more efficient and can even qualify for rebates.”

The County’s Sustainability Team, a division of the Community Development Agency, promotes Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade program through a grant from the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, a program of the nine Bay Area counties and the Association of Bay Area Governments. Dammann said the statewide traveling exhibit provides information about technical support and financial incentives for energy upgrades that help save electricity and water and lower utility bills.

Every Bay Area homeowner looking to make a home more efficient is eligible to participate in the Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade rebate program. Home Upgrade unlocks substantial rebates for energy-saving projects including replacing an old furnace, sealing/replacing duct systems, improving insulation, replacing old windows, and more.

Visit the Energy Upgrade California exhibit through September 11 in front of Sears at the Northgate Mall in San Rafael. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. 

For more information on Energy Upgrade California, visit For details on the Home Upgrade rebate program in Marin County, visit Free support is available by speaking with a Home Upgrade Advisor at 866-878-6008. 


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