Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Board of Supervisors



May 13, 2002


June 4, 2002



Honorable Board of Supervisors


Michael D. Nevin


County Energy Conservation at 455 County Center



Accept the report on energy conservation for offices in the County Office Building at 455 County Center.



On April 3, 2001 the Board adopted a resolution declaring the business hours for offices in the County Office Building (455 County Center) to be from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, effective April 30, 2001.

The purpose of this change was to conserve energy resources and reduce costs, while at the same time, improve service access by the public before and after normal work hours. By closing on Fridays and declaring business hours to be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., offices in the County Office Building increased public service hours from 45 hours per week to 48 hours per week.

Implementation of the new hours went smoothly due to an effective public relations campaign including:

· Press releases to all newspapers

· Public Service Announcements on radio and TV

· Notices on the County Website

· Mailings to customers and other contacts

· Signs on the 455 building and in individual departments in English and Spanish

· Notices in libraries and cities

· Voice mail reprogramming

· Notices on the Board of Supervisor Agenda and weekly Job Bulletin.

· Staff available outside the building on the first four Fridays to answer questions



On May 9, 2002 management representatives from each department in 455 County Center met to evaluate the pilot program. The evaluation covered three major areas as discussed below: Energy Savings, Customer Contacts and Comments, Employee Satisfaction

    · Energy Savings

    The original projected gas and electric savings was 17% or approximately $80,000 annually. The actual reduction in kilowatt hours (electric) and therms (gas) during the first year was 24% for gas and 23% for electricity. While costs of gas and electricity have increased over the last year, we calculate that had we remained open on Fridays, the energy bill would have been $108,481 more for the first year.

    · Customer Contacts and Comments

    Overall, customers have responded positively to extended hours and service availability from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Customers often comment about how convenient it is to do business without having to take time off from their job. During the first month, some customers expressed some inconvenience with the Friday closure, but few complaints have been received since.

    Many customers of offices in the 455 building can still access essential services on Friday. Revenue Services staff are available in the Hall of Justice, and applicants for employment can submit applications on line. Also, building inspections are conducted on Fridays with the additional benefit of scheduling building inspections and checking permit status 24 hours per day, 7 days per week on an integrated voice response (IVR) system. For other services, such as Employee Relations, EEO and Benefits, managers are available by cell phone. Environmental Health inspections are also conducted on Friday.

    Several floors have kept statistics for their reception areas during the initial year of the change. For Employee and Public Services, the first floor had 1463 walk-in or phone calls during the expanded hours, where the fifth floor had 523 walk-in or phone calls. The Planning Division had 836 walk-ins during the expanded hours.

    · Employee Satisfaction

    Employee comments have been positive and there have been no complaints from the unions.


Vision Alignment

The energy conservation at 455 County Center keeps the goal of preserving and enhancing important natural resources through environmental stewardship.


Fiscal Impact

As stated above, the annual gas and electric savings for the pilot program were $108,481.