Chimney sweepstakes

Would you take a rebate to shut off your home fireplace or wood stove?

A fireplace retrofit program is one of a host of topics being deliberated at 6 p.m. today as the California Energy Commission hosts the latest and possibly one of the last Hayward meetings on the proposed Russell City Energy Center, a 600-megawatt gas-fired power plant. See the story on how this program would work.

Is fireplace smoke a big problem in the East Bay? Maybe, but nothing makes the sky hazy like a big forest fire.


Alas, no matter how much money energy companies put into a retrofit program, you can be sure that no Hayward homeowners will be getting any placard-sized $220,000 rebate checks. That is, however, what Hayward-based Injex Industries Inc. earned from PG&E today for retrofits and lighting/machinery upgrades that the San Antonio Road automotive molding company implemented to improve its energy efficiency, according to a press release.

Injex, according to a letter the company sent to the energy commission in June, is also a supporter of the Eastshore Energy Center, the other gas-fired power plant PG&E wants built in Hayward. But it’s all about balance, says PG&E. The utility company says its energy efficiency efforts have helped 2,000 Hayward businesses reduce “energy consumption by 850 kilowatt hours a year, preventing 390 tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of removing 54 cars from the road every year.”