"Energy Efficiency is at the heart of energy affordability." Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation

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Paso Robles: PG&E Helps Boys & Girls Clubs with Energy-efficiency Upgrades

PASO ROBLES – With new dual-pane windows and energy efficient lighting, the aging Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Luis Obispo County is expected to see significant savings on future energy costs.

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New windows and other energy-efficient upgrades will help the Boys & Girls Club of North San Luis Obispo County save $1,000 a year on energy costs.

The new changes were just part of what community members got to see at an Open House event Thursday (April 3) night where club officials thanked local partners, including PG&E, for their support over the past year.

Many of those at the event remember how the building used to look: Broken windows, some covered up with Plexiglas or plywood, giving the inside of the club a very dark look. It’s a stark contrast to today.

“To go in there and see the smiles on the kids’ faces… It’s lighter all the way around,” said Perla De Leon, PG&E customer relationship manager, who worked to bring the upgrades to the club.

A $12,000 donation

PG&E provided $12,000 to replace the windows that had been broken by errant basketballs or attempted break-ins. Because the center didn’t have the money to replace the windows, they did what was necessary or cost-effective at the time covering with the plywood or Plexiglas.

The inadequate windows were discovered soon after club officials reached out to De Leon for assistance on cutting down on their energy usage. De Leon helped oversee an energy audit, which led to the club also receiving help from PG&E’s Local Government Partnership Program, funded by California utility customers and administered by PG&E and participating agencies through the California Public Utilities Commission. The goal of the partnership is to make homes and businesses more energy efficient because it benefits everyone.

The upgrades were now underway. With help from government program partners Staples Energy, the club’s T12 florescent lights were replaced with more energy-efficient T8 lights.

After the lighting was finished, the windows were next. The dual-pane windows now keep the cold and hot air out of the building. And best of all, the new windows are shatter resistant. Now, the errant basketballs from the kids playing on the adjacent court won’t pose a problem.

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At an open house last week, officials of the Boys & Girls Club thanked local partners, including PG&E.

Allen Reese, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of North San Luis Obispo County, said the building is old and in need of energy-efficient upgrades.

“We are one of the smaller clubs,” said Reese, who adds that the building was built in the early 1940s.

“The new lighting, energy efficient, and windows… It makes a world of difference. We are extremely appreciative,” he said. “The temperature in Paso Robles can get over 100 degrees. So, these changes are making a dramatic difference.”

Reese said the club expects to save about $1,000 a year on energy costs – money that will go back into serving children the 100 children who take part in club activities daily. “To give you just a sense of how much that money will help us, it costs $2,500 to put each child through the program for a year,” he said.