Welcome to The Green Scene where each month we bring you the latest tips,resources and news of all things Green in Kern County. 
In This Issue
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Upcoming Events
Energy Upgrade CA presentation 

June 9th, 11:30-1:00
Veteran's Hall
400 Norris Rd,

Kern Green will join REOKC for their monthly luncheon.  We will share with our retired community members the best ways to conserve energy and save money, even during the hot summer season. 

Zero Waste Partners

Certifications only apply to the addresses listed below and not to the company as a whole.

Aera Energy LLC
10000 Ming Ave
Bakersfield, CA

FedEx Ground
3105 Gateway 
Bakersfield, CA

IKEA Distribution
4101 Industrial Parkway
Lebec, CA

Give us a call to find out how you can become one of our certified zero waste facilities.

No Idling Partners
Our No Idling Partners are only for the addresses listed below and not the company as a whole.
Granite Construction
3005 James Road
Bakersfield, CA

Price Disposal 
8665 South Union
Bakersfield, CA 

4600 Resnick Drive
Bakersfield, CA

Give us a call to find out how you can become one of our No Idling Partners.


News from the Valley
Don't Let Your AC Unit Bust Your Budget this Summer
For many residents of the Central Valley, energy bills skyrocket during the summer.  Kern Green asked Saint Dominguez, the Vice President of Oasis Air Conditioning for advice on how to keep energy bills under control during the heat of summer. 

Q: What is the biggest cause of HVAC inefficiencies?

A:  Lack of maintenance.  Any number of things can cause a unit to run inefficiently; dirty coils, shrubbery suffocating the unit, a dirty indoor filter or a system leak which causes lost refrigerant.  In fact, according to the National Comfort Institute, the average air conditioning system operates at 57% efficiency.  That means people spend about 30-40% more than they have to on energy bills. 

Q: So what advice do you have for people who want to save money?

A: The best way to save money is to be on a yearly maintenance program.  As part of the annual service, the technician will check the unit, clean the coils, oil the motors and tighten all fittings.  They will also advise you on any potential problems or small changes you can make to increase your unit's efficiency.  For example, it is better to program your thermostat to run at about 85 or 88 degrees when the house is empty.  Don't let it get to 90 or 95 degrees because it takes twice as much power to cool a house from 95 to 94 degrees as it does to cool it from 85 to 84 degrees. 

Q: What do you think about the new Smart Thermostats?

A: I'm in favor of them. The WiFi thermostats allow you to control your air conditioning with your phone and you can check your system even when you're away from home. The more control you have over your system, the more precise you can be with your energy usage. 

Q: What is one piece of advice that you'd like to give people?

A:  Overall, the best way to save money on an inefficient system is to find out why it's inefficient.  With a professional assessment you can find the weakest link, define it and take care of it. 

Green Scene Tip of the Month
Three low-tech ways to cool your home

A tree is the most affordable air-conditioning unit you can buy. According to, a tree-shaded neighborhood is, on average, six degrees cooler than a treeless neighborhood; and proper landscaping can reduce a home's air-conditioning costs by 15-50%.  That being said, a tree is an investment in your home's future.  Take the time to research the proper type of tree and the ideal location on your property.  The Tree Foundation of Kern has great advice for people wanting to plant trees in Kern County.  

Vines are a great way to cool your house while waiting for trees to grow. Vines act as natural insulation during the hot summer months and not only shade your walls, but act as a natural air conditioner thanks to evapotranspiration- the release of water vapor from the plant surfaces.  To ensure that vines do not damage your walls, it is a good idea to install a sturdy trellis a few inches away from the walls of the house so the vine will attach to the trellis and not the stucco.  Vines and trees are both great examples of 'planting with purpose'. They represent thoughtful and intentional uses of outdoor water.

photo courtesy of
Because they block direct sunlight, a properly installed awning can reduce heat gain by up to 65% on southern windows and 77% on eastern windows. Awnings add interest  and charm to a home's exterior and come in a wide range of styles and prices.  

Featured Green Business

Aera Energy LLC
10000 Ming Ave
Bakersfied, CA

P 661-665-5000

Before achieving Green Certification in November 2011, Aera Energy's headquarters already had many environmentally-focused initiatives in place.  "We promote and practice environmental responsibility every day," explained Green Team leader Tina Carmona.  "It's the right thing to do."  

Aera's facility managers began their green certification process with an energy audit from PG&E and So Cal Gas.

Once they had accurate data about the facility's energy usage, the company began to make changes to improve efficiency and conservation.  They installed 600 occupancy sensors throughout the building. When a work space in Aera headquarters is empty, lights and monitors are automatically switched off.  Waterless urinals were installed in the bathrooms and 'No-Idling' zones were established at all curbs and loading docks.  To improve local air quality and encourage employee health, a bike-share program was started. Before certification, recycling bins were in place, but recycling wasn't heavily promoted. To achieve certification they made recycling a focused effort. 

Throughout the process, education was key. The company led several employee education seminars, displayed messaging throughout the building and held targeted workshops for small groups of people.   "We worked hard to get the buy-in.  Letting employees know what the changes were going to be and why it mattered was key," Carmona said. 

Their efforts made a big impact.  Aera is now a Zero Waste facility.  In 2014 they set a goal to use 20% less water at their headquarters.  They ended up using 43% less.  The positive momentum has motivated the company to do more.  "We are still looking for ways to reduce usage. We will be expanding our programs into additional fields and our plan is to start a Green Team of certified businesses," Carmona said.  The Green Team would be a way for businesses to network and share sustainable practices.  

Carmona wants the changes at Aera to inspire others in the community.  "We hope our employees, visitors and guests take what they have learned at Aera and use that information at home and in the community," she said. 

Get your business Green Certified today.  Start the process at
Kern Community 
And the Nominees Are.....

The Kern Green Awards take place on September 22.  Here is a complete list of nominees:

Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Renewable: Go Green Mobile Power, Bakersfield Christian High School, FedEx Ground, Bakersfield College, North Bakersfield Toyota 

Water Efficiency and Conservation: Travis Fugitt Farming, Cruz Thru Carwash, Aera Energy, Cal State Bakersfield, FedEx Ground, Bakersfield College, California Water Service

Air Quality Improvement or Pollution Prevention: ClearSign, Ikea Distribution Services, Buena Vista Elementary, FedEx Ground, EV Perks, Bike Bakersfield

Waste Reduction and Recycling: Bakersfield College, Townsend, Quinn, PG&E, Cal State Bakersfield

Sustainable Purchasing: BWell Chiropract, Covenant Coffee 

Building Material and Design: Omni Family Health, Tasteful Selections, CSUB, Teter 

Green Leadership or Community Service: Girl Scouts, Bakersfield ARC, The Wildlands Conservancy: Wind Wolves Preserve, KCHCC, Highland FFA, Ian Somerhalder, Mountain Disposal- Price Family

Community Volunteer: Sheryl Graab, Andrae Gonzales, Danny Murdock 

Co-worker: Tina Harmon-Carmona, Mike Ford, Danny Murdock

Eco-Educator: Dr. Aaron Hegde, Melissa Miniard, Danny Murdock 

Eco-Student: Hannah Van Nevel

Overall Green:
  • Small Business or Organization: aflowerAday, Children First Campaign  
  • Large Business or Organization: FedEx Ground, Bakersfield College, Granite Construction