Highlights of Energy Programs & Projects

Brea Energy Efficiency & Solar Power Project

In July 2011, the City of Brea dedicated a comprehensive energy efficiency and solar power project that is delivering significant savings by improving efficiency, reducing energy costs, and incorporating renewable power generation. This landmark project positions Brea as the largest municipal producer of solar energy in Orange County.

Green Life, Green Brea Award

The City of Brea hopes to inspire other Brea businesses and organizations to enhance their own use of energy best practices. In an effort to encourage such efforts, the city has developed the Green Life, Green Brea award, which will be used to recognize exemplary achievement in energy conservation. The inaugural award was presented to Beckman Coulter for their comprehensive renovation of their Brea facility.

Brea Business - Beckman Coulter - Tenant Improvements

This one-year phased project, totaling roughly 500,000 square feet has achieved a Gold LEED Certification. Scope included extensive building modifications, lab facilities, office suites, site work, parking areas, and extensive security upgrades. Other features include the addition of new perimeter wall windows, new lobby renovations, a new employee fitness facility, and cafe.

Improved Sports Field Lighting at Junior High Park Using Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant Funds

Through a formula based on the city’s population, Brea received $191,000 in funds from the Department of Energy. City staff members from multiple departments performed a collaborative exercise to determine which project(s) should be undertaken. The replacement of sports light fixtures and related equipment at this facility received the highest priority score because it would benefit a large cross section of the community.

The project has resulted in the replacement of 108 existing fixtures with 60 new Musco Sports Cluster Green fixtures on 16 existing light poles. It also included new electrical control boxes, related wiring, and a control link system. With the fixture reduction, it is estimated that a 20% energy savings will be achieved and the life-cycle operating cost for this lighting system will be reduced by half or more.

SCE Grant - Flight # 5.6 Local Government Strategic Plan Strategies - California’s Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan

The City of Brea was recently granted nearly $250,000 from SCE to implement a number of projects that support California’s long-term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan (CEESP).

  • Building and Safety Division is developing programs to encourage energy efficiency, such as one-stop permitting, online permitting, separate zero net energy permit processes, and a recognition program for exceptional energy efficient projects.
  • Sustainability Plan - The city is working toward development of a Climate Action Plan to help fulfill the goals of Assembly Bill 32, now California’s adopted Global Warming Solutions Act. The act was our nation’s first law to limit greenhouse gas emissions. One specific action local government can take in order to achieve the state’s goals is to adopt our own Sustainability Plan or which can be included within our city’s General Plan. A key component is to establish a baseline for emissions generated within the community. This is done through a review of existing land use inventory and modeling efforts to achieve as accurate a picture as possible of the emissions Brea currently generates. Since AB 32 seeks to lower emissions to 1990 era levels, additional modeling work will then target the emissions that existed that year. Once this information is established, the work on a plan to achieve the necessary reductions by the target year of 2020 can begin.
  • The Public Works Department is purchasing and installing an energy tracking / reporting system for overall management of municipal building energy usage and costs.

Testing New Gas Saving Device on Civic Center Boiler

The Public Works Department is happy to announce that the City of Brea and the gas company have entered into a partnership to test an innovative new gas saving device. Given the demand for natural gas at the Civic and Cultural Center, the Civic Center boiler was selected as a prime unit for evaluating the new control device. The gas company installed a M2G control device that monitors and adjusts gas flow to the boiler in a more precise manner. This new control has been in use in Europe and is now being tested in the United States. The M2G control has saved up to 25% of natural gas consumption at other test sites.

Energy Efficiency Building Equipment Upgrades

At the Brea Community Center, the 12-year old energy management system was replaced with a state-of-the-art system that was integrated into the digital HVAC control computer located at the Civic Center. This will allow for enhanced programming of the air conditioning system at the Brea Community Center and will be 30% more energy-efficient.

The Data Aire HVAC system, located in the radio room behind the Dispatch Center at the Civic Center was upgraded with a new unit. This system keeps all the computerized 911 radio equipment at a cool 70 degrees, which prevents over-heating that could lead to expensive equipment damage. The new unit replaced equipment that was close to 30 years old. This system will run 40% more efficiently.

The two air handler units for the main Information Technology Computer Server Room were upgraded with two new units. This will ensure that the room is maintained at crisp 68 degrees. Server rooms consume a large amount of electricity because they have to maintain cool temperatures around the clock. These two air handlers will perform 40% more efficiently than the ones they replaced.

One Year Trial of Electric Vehicles

The city secured an opportunity in 2010 to use five, limited-edition electric Mini Coopers as part of a year-long trial. The zero-emission “Mini E’s” were available for lease to government agencies to provide further public exposure and to receive feedback from users. Key goals of the Mini’s government program included driving as many miles, in as many varied situations as possible, and featuring the vehicle in the public arena, such as special events, professional conferences, etc. The program achieved operational cost savings by substituting the Mini’s within our normal vehicle fleet, giving us the ability to suspend or retire several other vehicles. Mini E’s are powered by a 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor, fed by a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery.