County has new energy policy |

County has new energy policy

El Dorado County workers may need some extra coffee this week as they wake up to a new energy policy, but they won’t be brewing it at the office.

Employees reported to work a half-hour earlier Monday as the county shifted its schedule from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors adopted the energy policy last week to help lessen demand during peak afternoon hours.

“We want to be a part of the solution (to the energy crisis),” Interim Director of General Services Craven Alcott said.

The new policy also calls for all thermostats in county facilities to be set at a maximum of 68 degrees for heating and a minimum of 78 degrees for cooling.

Employees have also been asked to eliminate the use of personal appliances such as coffee makers, refrigerators and microwave ovens. The county is installing low-wattage fluorescent lights with shut-off timers in many buildings, and allowing workers to wear cooler, business casual clothing.

The conservation policy comes in the wake of a request by Gov. Gray Davis, asking all local governments to reduce energy costs by 10 percent. The money saved through conservation will be hard to calculate because of fluctuating power prices, according to county staff.

While it might take employees some time to adjust to the new conservation standards, the policy is warranted, said Tim McSorley, director of facility services.

“The more we contribute to lessening the demand of energy, the less chance we have of experiencing a blackout,” McSorley said.

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