Glendale’s effort to cool demand for energy is taking hold, with the Walt Disney Co. as the latest customer to take advantage of a federally subsidized program to promote ice-based air conditioning to cut down on electricity.
The chillers, called Ice Bears, work by making ice in the evening hours, when demand for energy is low, then using the ice as the source of air conditioning during peak hours. Nineteen of the chillers are installed at City Hall, libraries and fire stations, according to city officials. Another 81 have been placed on commercial properties at no charge and with the consent of the owners.
Over the last year, the Ice Bears have shifted more than 700,000 watts of electricity demand away from peak-hour use, city officials reported. At a luncheon Tuesday, officials and leaders of the private company doing the work touted the program as one that will save ratepayers money and dampen the city’s need to generate electricity.