Energy efficiency

Doing more with less energy is key to building a sustainable future.  Surprisingly, increased energy efficiency is not that difficult to achieve - Especially if we all work together!

Why should you care about energy efficiency?

Virtually every aspect of our lives depends on a predictable flow of affordable electricity. Yet this energy comes at a cost. To our environment. And to our wallets.

When you save electricity:

  • You save money.
  • You reduce pollution.
  • You help fight global warming.
  • You help avoid “rolling blackouts.”
  • You reduce the need for new power plants.
  • You make a difference!

Energy efficiency at home

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) with energy efficient LED's.
  • Replace or clean furnace filters regularly and get a furnace tune-up. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted can save up to 5% on heating costs.
  • Heat with solar!  In the winter, open drapes and curtains on south-facing windows to heat your home with sunlight. Close drapes and curtains to retain heat at night.
  • In the summer, keep south-facing windows covered, and open those on the northern, cooler side of the house. Use fans to circulate air.
  • Replace your old, inefficient furnace with an ENERGY STAR-qualified model.
  • Turn down the thermostat. Lowering the temperature three to five degrees can save you 10% to 20% on heating costs.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat.
  • Set your refrigerator temperature to 36-39°F (2-3°C). Set freezer to 0-5°F (-18 to-15°C).
  • Install proper ceiling, wall, and attic insulation and weather-strip doors and windows to save up to 25% on heating costs.
  • Choose an energy efficient water heater.  Adjust your water heater thermostat to 120°F or less and save 10% to 15% on water heating costs.
  • Replace your older clothes washer with a qualifying high-efficiency model, which uses 35% to 50% less water. Wash in cold water to save even more.
  • Install low-flow shower heads to conserve water and save 5% to 10% on water heating costs. Showers can account for up to 50% of your hot water usage.
  • Purchase an ENERGY STAR-qualified dishwasher and run it only when it is full. Use the air-dry option instead of the heat-dry. Check and clean the dishwasher drain.

Energy efficiency at work

  • Set programmable thermostats to turn heating on 30 minutes before people arrive, and off 30 to 60 minutes before they leave. Set them no higher than 68°F during occupied periods in the winter.
  • Turn off lights in offices, conference areas, and lunchrooms when rooms are not in use.
  • Use task lighting instead of overhead lighting. Replace light bulbs with LED's.
  • Dress comfortably for the weather. Adjust your layers before adjusting the thermostat.
  • Keep windows and doors closed to prevent loss of heated air. Open your drapes and shades during the day to allow the sun to warm your office.
  • Encourage your employer to regularly perform maintenance on heating and ventilation systems to keep them running efficiently.
  • Unplug electronic devices when they are not in use. Plug everything into a power strip and switch it off after shutting down equipment.
  • Close drapes and shades to limit the amount of heat that escapes.
  • Set thermostats no higher than 63°F during off-work hours.
  • Turn off all printers, copiers, fax machines, kitchen equipment, and lights.
  • Shut down computers when possible. Be sure to turn off monitors.


City of Santa Ana's history of energy efficiency

August 2007

  • Before the partnership was signed, the City and Southern California Edison (SCE) held a free lamp exchange event, replacing 7,340 units with an annual 541,999 kWh savings.

March 2008

  • The City and SCE launched their 2008 Energy Efficiency Partnership at the Cesar Chavez Celebration and conducted “Energy Efficiency 101” training for PWA employees. The events distributed 275 compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) with an annual 9,625 kWh savings.

July 2008

  • Free In-home Energy Surveys were offered to Santa Ana residents to help them save money on energy bills. Edison completed surveys with an annual 151,638 kWh savings.
  • Free lamp exchange event held in the Wal-Mart parking lot on West McFadden Avenue, exchanging 7,584 units with an annual 596,387 kWh.

August 2008

  • Business Direct Install Program offered to small businesses in the Federal Empowerment Zone, providing up to $10,000 worth of energy efficient upgrades to each business at no cost. Edison contractors completed Direct Install Retrofits for 198 small businesses, which received a total of $353,239 in free equipment and labor. This represents an annual 880,136 kWh savings.
  • SCE featured the Partnership in its Power Bulletin newsletter.

September 2008

  • The Energy Efficiency Partnership web page is added to the Santa Ana Green home page, and an RFP for a Strategic Energy and Resource Protection Plan is developed.
  • The Partnership joins in the Fiestas Patrias downtown celebration and distributed energy efficiency public education information and 5,000 free CFLs to attendees, representing an annual 175,000 kWh savings.

October 2008

  • The Energy Efficiency Partnership partners with Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County on the 19th Annual Neighborhood Pride Day 2008.

November/December 2008

  • Free Employee Holiday Light Exchange is held at the City Yard and City Hall. Employees exchanged nearly 1,500 strands of holiday lights valued at $19,647 that save an annual 67,500 kWh.
  • The staff partners with The Peterson Group (TPG), a marketing and public education firm hired by the City, to develop an Energy Efficiency Kit to be delivered to all single-family, duplex, and triplex residences in Santa Ana. The Kits were delivered door-to-door to almost 39,000 homes and will create an annual 2,278,782 kWh savings.

Even more successes

  • Refrigerator Pickup – Throughout the year, the Partnership offered refrigerator/freezer pick-up from residents and businesses, with rebates of up to $50. Thirteen units were recycled, creating an annual savings of 22,000 kWh.
  • Water Production – Two water project retrofits were completed (wells #28 and #38) that will save 535,679 kWh annually. These upgrades earned the City $107,136 in incentives from SCE.
  • School Programs – SCE’s Living Wise program was delivered to 14 schools and 1,000 students, providing them with Energy Efficiency Kits to take home that represent an annual 42,000 kWh savings.

The results

Overall, the Partnership achieved an annual kWh savings of 5,302,496. The original budget of $200,000 provided access to programs and free materials valued at $1,129,746.50 via additional SCE programs funneled through the Partnership.

In 2009, the City will be developing a baseline study of its carbon footprint.  Following the baseline, the City will finalize guidelines for a Strategic Energy and Resource Protection Plan. The Plan will identify and target new opportunities to create long-term energy savings, reduce peak load, generate solar power, and expand energy efficiency measures in innovative ways in Santa Ana.

From 2009 through 2011 the City expects to spend $1.2 million on the installation of additional energy efficient motors in City water wells and for well rehabilitation improvements. This will create an estimated annual savings of 1.1 million kWh per year.

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