Yuba County, “Innovative Energy” – National County Government Month 2015
One of the laws of physics dictates that you can’t create more energy than you expend—but one of the laws of economics says that you can create more value in energy efficiency and local generating capacity than it costs to build the project. That was the critical factor that Yuba County put to work when the aging HVAC system in the County Courthouse needed to be replaced.
After more than 40 years of struggling to keep the courthouse warm in the winter and cool through Yuba County’s 100-degree summers, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system was on its last legs. Not only was it costly to operate and maintain—it was frequently out of order. As one person in Yuba County told me, “Judges don’t like it much when the AC isn’t working in their courtroom.” The system was so old they could barely get parts for it anymore, so they knew they had to replace it.