Southern California Edison (SCE) wishes its customers a peaceful New Year with these 10 ideas to make their homes more energy efficient throughout the year.
"Conservation is always in season," said Gene Rodrigues, SCE's director of energy efficiency. "We're the nation's leading utility for energy efficiency because our customers do such a great job of conserving electricity with the many programs and services we offer. We hope that everyone, no matter where they live, can use these ideas for a greener New Year."
SCE's TOP 10 RESOLUTIONS FOR AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT 2008
1. Light up your life: Pledge to switch out at least one regular incandescent bulb for a CFL at www.sce.com/cfl . CFLs now come in a variety of light qualities and shapes. Best of all, they use about a quarter of the energy and last up to 10 times longer than a regular incandescent bulb. Due to an arrangement with manufacturers, SCE has managed to place inexpensive CFL bulbs in more than 1500 stores-at reduced prices (often just 99 cents). Look for displays that have SCE's logo.
2. Survey says: Take the Home Energy Survey online or in person at www.sce.com. You'll get custom information on ways to make your home or business more efficient, plus a free compact fluorescent light (CFL), low-flow showerhead and two faucet aerators.
3. Out with the old!: Let SCE haul away your old inefficient appliances and we'll pay you $35 for a refrigerator or $50 for a freezer. When you buy an ENERGY STAR-labeled replacement, we'll give you a rebate for that, too.
4. Chill your bill: Get up to $200 credit on your summer electricity bills when you sign up for Summer Discount Plan at www.sce.com/summer .
5. Beat the heat: Consider energy-efficient air-conditioning alternatives: cross ventilation, whole-house fans, ceiling fans, portable fans and evaporative "swamp" coolers.
6. More cash in your stash: SCE offers many rebates at http://www.sce.com/RebatesandSavings/:
- $50 rebate to buy an ENERGY STAR-labeled refrigerator
- $50 rebate for an ENERGY STAR-labeled room or wall A/C
- $100 for a whole-house fan (some large home-improvement centers and discount stores provide the rebate at the time of sale)
- 10-20 cents a square foot incentive to use reflective roof materials when replacing an old roof. This can reduce roof temperatures by 60 percent.
- $30-$200 rebate when replacing an old pool pump with a new, efficient one; variable-speed pumps are especially effective in reducing costs.
7. Stay in tune: Much like an automobile, an air conditioning system needs to be regularly tuned up. Having an air conditioner tune-up can save up to 30 percent on home cooling costs. Tune-ups should be done by a qualified professional. An enhanced tune-up includes: condenser and evaporator coil cleaning; duct testing and sealing; and refrigerant charge adjustments. In fact, if just 10 percent of SCE's customers with central air conditioning got a tune-up, it could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 297 million pounds – the equivalent of taking 26,650 cars off the road. Expect to pay between $75 and $150 for a tune-up and you can find a list of contractors at www.sce.com/summer , or by calling 1-800-369-3652.
8. Leave a tip: Share energy-saving ideas with your neighbors at www.sce.com/leaveatip. Or, take a tip about simple and creative ways to save energy throughout the year.
9. Become a vampire slayer: "Energy vampires" refers to electronic equipment, appliances and devices that use energy 24 hours a day, even when you think they're turned off. You can cut up to 6 percent from your bill by making sure that you plug your devices into a power strip or surge protector – and turn it off when you're not using the equipment. For equipment that will lose its programming if turned completely off, buy ENERGY STAR-labeled products because they uses less energy in "standby" mode.
10. Follow the sun: You'll earn rebates when you provide your own clean, renewable energy from solar panels when you take advantage of the California Solar Initiative. Learn more at www.sce.com/RebatesandSavings/CaliforniaSolarInitiative/