EVERETT, WA - Snohomish County has joined the Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) "Energy Challenge," pledging to reduce energy use in County facilities by 10 percent below the 2007-2009 average during the next three years. This includes changes in fleet maintenance facilities and vehicles.

The County is encouraging energy reduction in all facilities, but usage will be monitored in six buildings, including the Arlington fleet shop, said Allen Mitchell, fleet manager, Snohomish County Department of Public Works. Building retrofits in the Arlington Shop are being funded through bonds and include the installation of natural gas radiant tube heaters with DDC controls.

According to Mitchell, County fleet grant-funded energy efficiency activities include:

  • Installation of solar array powering 16 EV charging stations at the County campus and a solar array and 4 EV charging stations at the Cathcart facility (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant [EECBG] funding from the Department of Energy).
  • 5 Nissan Leafs have been ordered for delivery in early 2011 (partial funding by EECBG DOE grant).
  •  Installation of two biodiesel stations and an E-85 ethanol fueling station in the County (Clean Cities Grant funding).
  • Installation of EV charging stations around the County (Clean Cities Grant funding).
  • Purchase of up to 20 (7 of those were bought in 2010; 13 for 2011) hybrid vehicles (partially funded through Clean Cities Grant funding).

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon said he expects potential energy savings for the County's efforts to equal 875,000 kilowatt-hours — enough to power nearly 70 homes annually while reducing CO2 emissions by 125 tons each year.