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Chula Vista gets greener fuel Special To The Star-news | Sat, Dec 25 2010 12:00 PM

The city of Chula Vista is celebrating some recent "green" accomplishments through the use of its federal Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds.

The city received $1,974,300 in EECBG funds as part of the federal stimulus package to help reduce energy use and carbon emissions from municipal facilities and throughout the community.

With the funding, the city recently completed installation of a 12,000-gallon biodiesel tank at its Public Works Corp Yard. The new tank will allow over 125 heavy-duty municipal fleet vehicles-such as fire engines, dump trucks, and excavators -to convert to the alternative fuel source.

In addition to being a cleaner burning fuel than conventional diesel, the City's supply of biodiesel is derived from used cooking oil collected from restaurants in Chula Vista and elsewhere. This in turn creates a new way to recycle oil waste and reduces reliance on imported petroleum supplies. In November, the city also began installing solar photovoltaic systems at numerous municipal sites.

The new solar panels will annually generate more than 716,000 kWh in "clean" electricity (enough to power approximately 120 homes for an entire year) and are helping to spur local clean energy jobs.

For Chula Vista residents and businesses, the City launched a Home Upgrade, Carbon Downgrade program to help reduce their energy use and monthly utility costs. To date, the program has provided over 1,000 point-of-sale rebates to community members who have purchased energy efficient appliances at local Chula Vista stores.

These rebates have helped to generate over $1.2 million in local sales at participating stores including Best Buy, Home Depot, K-Mart, and Sears.

The program has also recently begun offering low-interest loans to community members who want to make energy efficiency or solar improvements to their properties.

For more information on the City's environmental programs and services, visit www.chulavistaca.gov/clean or call (619) 409-3893.

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