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Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-7008

From microbreweries to fraternities, Berkeley invests in energy efficiency

Berkeley, California (Friday, February 24, 2012) - The City of Berkeley awarded over a quarter of a million federal stimulus dollars in grants to local businesses and multifamily property owners to encourage major energy upgrades. The businesses and properties competed for funding based on their ability to leverage the award funding, provide local green jobs and maximize energy savings. The goal of the grant program was to stimulate the local economy and help meet Berkeley’s Climate Action goal to reduce energy usage by 33 percent by 2020.

Local microbrewery Trumer Brauerei, maker of Trumer Pils, was one of a dozen funded projects. Trumer applied their $30,000 stimulus grant towards the purchase of a $90,000 environmentally-friendly ozone sterilization system to sanitize pipes and storage tanks. Ozone technology naturally purifies water at lower temperatures (decreasing from 190 degrees down to 60 degrees) thereby saving energy used to heat the water and reducing the need for traditional chemical sanitizers. Ozone technology has long been used in water treatment facilities, food processing plants and even in wine industry but is only recently gaining momentum in the beer making sector.

“The green technology behind the ozone-generating equipment allows us to powerfully sanitize equipment on demand, with no residual environmental effects. We truly appreciate the support from the City of Berkeley and are pleased to run our operations in an environmentally-friendly method," said Lars Larson, Master Brewer at Trumer Brauerei Berkeley.

Other recipients of funding for energy upgrades include the Bancroft Hotel, the Berkeley Food and Housing Project, the Alameda County Homeless Action Center, UC Berkeley’s Cal Beta Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, two student cooperatives and several apartment buildings.

The Berkeley Food and Housing Project, a local social service agency providing programs and shelter for homeless individuals and families, received funding to replace the domestic hot water system with high efficiency boilers and a solar thermal hot water system at their women’s shelter. The solar thermal system is estimated to provide 60 percent of the energy required for all hot water use.

The Cal Beta Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, on Bancroft Way, replaced two water heaters with high-efficiency units. On top of the energy savings, the motivation for the fraternity was to enhance the comfort of the building and improve the safety of the combustion appliances.

More information about some of the other fund recipients is available by request.


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