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Energy Actions

There are lots of programs offering rebates and incentives to help you save money on energy-efficient upgrades. Check with your local utility before making any purchases to see how you can qualify. And don't forget to check our Funding Wizard for available rebates, loans, and other incentives.

Unplug it!
Did you know that appliances, chargers, home theater equipment, stereos and televisions use electricity even when their power is "off"?

  • Eliminating this "leaking" electricity could save you 6–26% on your average monthly electricity bill. Take a walking tour of your home and unplug seldom-used appliances and install power strips so that the power to frequently used items can be easily turned off.

Switch to CFLs (or even LEDs!)
Check out the Buyer's Guide for Lighting from EnergyStar.gov. The average lifetime of a 75 watt standard bulb is 750 hours. The average lifetime of a comparable 20 watt CFL is 8,000 hours for the same level of brightness, and a whopping 15,000-25,000 hours for an LED!

  • By replacing five incandescent light bulbs that remain in your home with CFLs, you can save 400 lbs. off your carbon footprint a year. Replacing five incandescent light bulbs with CFLs can save $50 or more in electricity costs a year.
  • CFLs need to be disposed of carefully because of the very small amount of mercury content. Like paint and batteries, CFLs don’t belong in your household garbage. Consumers can contact their municipal solid waste agency for disposal information or look for a local recycler. Find a recycler nearest you by visiting the Earth911 website or call 1-877-EARTH911. Learn more about fluorescent lamp recycling and other considerations from the CA Dept of Toxic Substances Control. Luckily, with a longer lifespan, you won’t have to dispose of CFLs very often.

Keep it Cooler in Winter
Turn your thermostat in winter down 5 degrees during the daytime, and down 10 degrees before going to sleep (or when you're away for the day) and:

  • Save 5-20% off your space heating costs.
  • On average, central Californians can reduce their carbon footprints by 600 lbs a year; northern Californians can reduce by 1200 lbs; and southern and coastal Californians can reduce their carbon footprints by 300 lbs a year.

Keep it Warmer in Summer
Cooling represents one of the largest sources of electricity consumption in California, especially in hot areas such as southern California. Turn your thermostat in summer up 5 degrees during the daytime, and 10 degrees before going to sleep (or when you're away for the day) and:

  • Save 5-20% off your cooling costs.
  • On average, central Californians can reduce their carbon footprints by 880 lbs a year; northern Californians can reduce by 100 lbs; and southern and coastal Californians can reduce their carbon footprints by 500 lbs a year.
  • For an easy fix, purchase an inexpensive programmable thermostat that makes these changes for you.

Increase Energy Efficiency at Home
Did you know that you can save up to 350 lbs of CO2 and $150 per year at home by simply keeping air filters clean?

  • If you are buying a new or existing home, look into getting qualified for an Energy Efficient Mortgage.
  • To determine more ways to increase energy efficiency, take advantage of free home energy audits offered by many utility companies.
  • When you are ready to purchase an appliance, ensure that you purchase an EnergyStar appliance. Visit Energy Star’s website to learn more about appliances that reduce energy use by 10–75 percent, without compromising quality or performance.
  • Weatherize your home or office. Caulk and weather-strip your doorways and windows to reduce heating and cooling costs. Not only can you save around $300 a year, but you can save 1,000 pounds of carbon a year.

Dry your Clothes on the Line
Utilize the great outdoors and save some energy, cash, and your carbon footprint. The average family dries 7 to 10 loads of laundry a week. Hanging 2 loads a week can reduce your footprint by 265 lbs, hanging 4 loads a week reduces it by 550 lbs, and 5 loads a week will reduce your footprint by 683 lbs of carbon dioxide equivalents.

Use Green Energy
Green power is electricity produced from renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and water. Find out if your local utility offers green energy.