City of Benicia, CA Clean Energy Project Surpassing Targets, to Save Over $5 Million while Achieving Climate Action Goals

Dec 16, 2015, 20:42 ET from OpTerra Energy Services

BENICIA, Calif., Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The City of Benicia, California, announced at its last City Council meeting of 2015 that its Clean Energy Project is surpassing originally expected financial performance by over $850,000. Initially designed and implemented in 2012, the City of Benicia has worked in partnership with OpTerra Energy Services to leverage the energy program as part of a broader initiative to achieve aggressive climate action goals. As detailed at their December 15th meeting, Benicia is garnering over $5 million in energy savings and rebates as a result of its energy upgrades.

Energy as a Foundation for Success
During 2011 and 2012, the City of Benicia worked with a locally-based team of OpTerra Energy Services engineers and project managers to implement Benicia's Clean Energy Project. The program consists of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at 10 City sites, completing energy efficiency upgrades at seven City facilities, and replacing approximately 95% of City-owned street lighting with energy efficient fixtures.

At the December 15th City Council meeting, Finance Director Karin Schnaider presented project results of the ongoing program that highlight the benefits that the energy project has garnered for the City to date. In tandem with the City's recent participation in Marin Clean Energy (MCE), a community choice energy program, the project results demonstrate significant progress toward the goals of the City's 2009 Climate Action Plan.

Fiscal Stewardship and Sustainability
Finance Director Schnaider shared the financial and environmental achievements that the Clean Energy Project has accomplished through this month, including:

  • Over $2.5 million in electrical savings (through 2015)
  • Over $2.5 million in rebates (including projected), with California Solar Initiative rebates exceeding predicted rebates by over $200,000
  • Out-performing promised electrical savings by 23%
  • 9,305,848 kWh saved, equivalent to 466 passenger vehicles taken off the road for one year

The project was structured financially such that no capital outlay was required by the City, and finance payments are covered by the savings and rebates, with a net positive benefit to City coffers. 

City of Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson applauded the work of the collaborative efforts of the City staff and OpTerra team managing the comprehensive project. "A great example of Benicia's commitment to strong fiscal stewardship is the City's partnership with OpTerra.  The Council's 2011 decision to 'Go Solar' was based on a conservative business case, and the Clean Energy Project is substantially out-performing those projections. By taking leadership in sustainability, Benicia is saving tax dollars for Benicia's residents, saving energy and accelerating our region's move toward clean energy and greater climate protection."

Building a Legacy
The Clean Energy Project is an ongoing initiative that will positively impact residents and local businesses by continuing to make the City's energy performance profile more efficient over time. As a partner to over 150 public entities across the state of California – from cities like Benicia to K-12 school districts and community colleges – OpTerra staff is excited to support Benicia's focus on making the community more resilient and prosperous through sustainability initiatives.

"While cities across the globe are moving forward from the recent signing of the Paris climate agreements, Benicia's strong track record of climate action leadership stands out as a tremendous model for regional success," Lindsey Corbin, VP at OpTerra Energy Services, commented. "OpTerra is proud to be a partner with the City since 2012, helping the region achieve significant financial savings that translate into sustainable, positive impact for residents, business, and the local environment."

Ongoing updates about the Clean Energy Project will continue to be highlighted at City Council meetings in 2016.

About the City of Benicia: Known for its spectacular waterfront views, fine schools, and vibrant artistic community, City of Benicia has a population of 27,000 and is located in Solano County. Benicia was founded in 1847, once served as the state capital of California (1853-4), and now encompasses a land area of 13 square miles. Learn more at For more information on the City's Climate Action Plan, contact Karin Schnaider, at 707-746-4217.

About OpTerra Energy Services: OpTerra Energy Services is a national energy company that partners with school districts, cities, and counties to implement comprehensive sustainability solutions that save money, generate revenue, improve assets, and protect the environment. We have saved our partners over $2 billion in energy savings over the past 40 years. Learn more at, or contact Lani Wild, Communications Manager, at 415-735-9080.

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SOURCE OpTerra Energy Services