County of San Mateo RecycleWorks Facilities

San Mateo County Facilities
The recycling program for county employees

Energy Use In The County

What is Energy?
Energy is the capacity for doing work. Energy can be thermal, mechanical, electrical, and chemical, and can be transformed from one form into another. The unit of measurement is the watt-hour (Wh). One watt-hour is equivalent to one watt of power used in one hour. Typically electrical devices measure their energy in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A kilowatt-hour is 1,000 watt hours; a watt is a measurement of energy use or production. In comparison, a gigawatt (GW) is equal to one billion watts. This unit is sometimes used with large power plants or power grids.

Energy use in commercial buildings
There are various components of commercial buildings that use energy sources to work. From the heating and air conditioning systems, to water heating and lights, they require the use of energy. In San Mateo County, the commercial sector accounts for more than half of the county's total energy use.

How much energy does the County use?
Check out this report to see how much energy the county facilities require.

For County wide residential and commercial energy use statistics visit:

How can we reduce our energy use?
Currently, the county is implementing various programs to reduce its energy and fuel usage:
  • Lighting
    The County is currently retrofitting lights in county facilities to reduce electricity usage through increased efficiency.
    County Office Building 2 at 555 County Center - This building is currently undergoing a lighting retrofit and installation of occupancy sensors and is projected to yield a savings of 183,000 kWh. This represents an almost 10 % reduction in electricity use.
  • Co-generation
    Co-generators are being installed at county facilities that have appropriate applications. A co-generation plant uses natural gas efficiently to generate both electricity and heat.
    Maguire Detention Facility - The County's first co-generator is operating at the Maguire Detention Facility. It has resulted in a decrease in electricity and an increase in natural gas use as expected.
  • Vehicle purchase for County's fleet
    The County purchases hybrid and high mile per gallon (MPG) cars for its fleet to reduce the amount of gasoline needed. The production and transportation of gasoline requires a large amount of energy. Cars also produce emissions that degrade our environment.
    Hybrid vehicles - The County has 75 hybrid vehicles in its fleet.
  • CO2 emissions reduction
    On November 15, 2005, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 10% by 2010 and to support the Sustainable Silicon Valley CO2 Initiative. The County's steps towards energy efficiency will help us achieve this goal.