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Watch the Video: Placer County’s mPOWER Program Enables Deep Retrofits for Resort Property

mPower Granlibakken from MyPlacer Video Portal on Vimeo.


The Granlibakken Resort and Conference Center in Tahoe City, built in the 1980s, needed upgrades. The owners had hopes of installing energy efficient retrofits for several of their antiquated systems. However, without a starting point and with the high cost of investment grade energy audits, they were reluctant to move forward with a comprehensive retrofit plan.


Through a collaborated partnership with the Sierra Business Council and mPOWER, Placer County’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, an innovated approach was developed  which allowed Granlibakken to seek qualified companies to participate in a request for proposal (RFP) for improving the facility. The cost of the energy audit was rolled into the proposal process and was then financed through mPOWER.  In addition, this process created a model for use by any other commercial property owner who does not have the upfront funds for an investment grade energy audit.


“Through this process, businesses can avoid the upfront costs of a commercial energy audit which can be $20,000 to $30,000,” said Greg Jones, Vice President of Operations for the Sierra Business Council. “Instead of requiring upfront money for an energy audit, the energy audit can be folded into the financing with the project design and implementation.”


Under the retrofit, the conference center received heating upgrades that included the replacement of two obsolete boilers with two high efficiency natural gas boilers and pump motors with variable frequency drives, DHW storage tank and heat exchanger.  The installation of eleven new hydronic coil units, twelve new condensing units and duct sealing upgraded the air condition. A building automation system replaced the outdated system.


Kitchen upgrades included the replacement of four obsolete refrigeration systems with energy efficient systems that have scroll remote condensing units with roof-top remote condensers and evaporator coils with electronic commutator motors. The obsolete dishwasher was replaced with an ENERGY STAR© unit. An Intelli-Hood system was installed to interface with the existing kitchen exhaust hood system.


With the improvements, Granlibakken expects to experience at least 43 percent reduction in energy use and savings of up to $44,000 each year.


The U.S. Department of Energy recently recognized mPOWER, for its leadership in improving energy efficiency honoring the Gralibakken project as a Better Buildings Challenge showcase project. The project also received the Placer County Contractors Association “Commercial Energy Upgrade Project of the Year 2015.”

Contact Alexia Retallack for more information.