Campaign offers cool ways to save money on energy bills
Upgrades mean cash rewards
PALMDALE, Calif.—As usual, this summer promises to be hot in the Antelope Valley, with temperatures expected to exceed 100 degrees. So now may be the best opportunity to prepare your home for the heat. But don’t let the beating rays run your bill up to levels that will drive you into debt. Instead, make a few home modifications and save thousands of dollars this summer.
This season, California’s energy efficiency program, Energy Upgrade California, a statewide campaign administered by L.A. County, Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas Co., is offering home and business owners thousands of dollars in incentives to make energy upgrades.
“Southern California’s summer heat inevitably brings higher costs for cooling your home, so this is an ideal time to consider energy-saving home upgrades,” said Howard Choy, general manager of the county’s Office of Sustainability. “It’s our hope that the increased incentives offered this summer encourage more L.A. county residents to take advantage of energy improvements that will help them save money, create more comfortable indoor environments and contribute to our countywide energy-efficiency efforts as we head into the hot summer months of high energy use.”
From improving housing insulation to obtaining tankless water heaters, homeowners now have the opportunity to not only save on utility bills, but also receive $4,500 just for the improvements. But only for the summer through Labor Day, homeowners who have already begun making improvements through the Energy Upgrade California can receive an additional $1,500.
Other upgrades include installing energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems, cool roofs, whole house fans, energy-efficient handwired interior and exterior lighting fixtures.
Abbie Rumery, spokesperson for Energy Upgrade California, says Southern California residents can save at least 20 percent this summer by upgrading their homes.
Particularly in the Antelope Valley, this news just might be music to residents’ ears.
“Although the cost of energy isn’t higher in the Antelope Valley, the amount of energy needed for cooling is higher so people tend to pay more, especially if their homes are not efficient. This is also dependent upon the homeowner and how much energy they use,” she stated.
Larry Schroeder, who serves on the Claremont City Council, made several upgrades to his 100-year-old home. From a more efficient heating and cooling system to insulating the attic, he and his wife in just one month said they saw their bill drop 7 percent.
“First when we looked into it, we figured out we can save money and make our house more comfortable and do something that is environmentally sound,” he said. With the new upgrades, he finds that his two-story home is much more comfortable as temperatures inside average between 60 and 63 degrees in the summer heat.
Other great ways of improving energy consumption efficiency this summer is replace light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, which use 66 percent less energy than standard light bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer, according to Energy Upgrade California. By just replacing light bulbs, residents can save $30.
Additionally, insulating pipes and heaters helps prevent loss of heat as water travels. Also turning the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit can save $400 annually. When residents leave for vacation, they are requested to turn their heaters off.
For any time of the year, sealing air leaks and keeping air filters clean ensures your home stays heated or cooled without adjusting your thermostat.
Contractors and businesses can also benefit from the program.
For more information, visit www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org.
COMPTON, Calif. — A fire broke out today in a commercial building in Compton, possibly compromising power lines, county fire officials said.
The blaze was reported at 3:24 p.m. in the 5000 block of Compton Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The structure was engulfed in flames and continued to burn as of 4 p.m., fire officials said.
There may be power lines down behind the burning building, fire officials said. Southern California Edison were dispatched to the scene.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) have teamed up to invest $440 million in energy efficiency funding into the community. The two utilities now offer several energy-saving, and potentially cost-saving, programs to residential and business customers in their joint service territory.
The National Regulatory Research Institute’s October 2012 report, “The Role of Natural Gas in California’s Climate Policy,” stated: “As California transitions its energy infrastructure to one that is more environmentally friendly, natural gas holds promise as a fuel that can complement the state’s cap-and-trade program, energy-efficiency measures, and transition to renewables.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — High surf pounded the coast and fierce winds howled across the Southland today, with gusts topping 70 mph whipping the Saugus area and 50 mph in Lancaster.
ROSEMEAD, Calif.—Growing up in Tema on the Atlantic coast of Ghana, Ewurabena Mensa-Wood had the dream of one day becoming a pilot. “There were no women flying in Ghana when I was growing up,” she said. “I raised a few eyebrows whenever I brought the subject up.”