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Free workshop on energy upgrading program

A free upcoming workshop at Mendocino College will look at a new energy upgrading program.

The workshop will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, July 28, 1000 Hensley Creek Rd, Ukiah.

Find out how Energy Upgrade California can help you build your business. As a business owner, you're always looking for new ways to build out your services and get new clients. Energy Upgrade California can help you do just that.

During the free workshop you'll learn how to get involved, gain visibility with homeowners who are looking for contractors doing the work, and make the most of program rebates and incentives.

You'll learn valuable information about home performance and Energy Upgrade California; how to participate in the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. service territory; marketing support and outreach activities; contractor enrollment process and requirements; jobs reporting and rebate application; field mentoring, quality assurance and safety; and local opportunities and government incentives.

Pre-registration is required. For more information and to attend, visit https://energyupgradeca.org/events/20110713T201417Z-380@renewfund-com and click "Register Now."

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Energy Evaluation

ENERGY STAR Energy Evaluation Video

More than 75,000 families have had their homes improved through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and home comfort, while helping to protect the environment. These families are enjoying benefits like, fewer drafts, consistent temperatures across rooms, better ventilation and humidity control, and lower utility bills.

Take a look at this video for more information:


Light-bulb standards equal energy efficiency

Light-bulb standards equal energy efficiency

Resistance to light-bulb efficiency standards is foolish and contrary to the nation's goal of energy independence.

Refrigerators and cars have become more energy-efficient. Water heaters and windows have too. So it's strange that so many politicians cling to old-style incandescent light bulbs.

Contrary to what congressional critics have been saying, a law passed during the George W. Bush administration does not ban incandescent bulbs. Rather, it phases in higher requirements for energy efficiency that the old incandescents — in use for more than 100 years since they were developed by Thomas Edison — do not meet because much of their energy creates heat rather than light. Starting in 2012, the traditional 100-watt bulbs go off the market, followed over the next two years by lower-wattage bulbs. California is moving ahead even more quickly, phasing out the 100-watt bulb this year.

Once the phase-out is fully in place, the law will save consumers about $12 billion a year in energy costs; the average California household will save $124 a year. And more than utility bills are at stake. Conservation is one of the fastest and most effective paths to energy independence. The bulb law will save the country more energy than it takes to power a third of the state of California. And even though compact fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, making them harder to dispose of, the law will reduce mercury pollution overall by eliminating the need for 30 coal-fired power plants.

The incandescent bulb is an old favorite, shedding a warm glow. It's cheap to purchase (though other bulbs ultimately cost a lot less). That's why politicians have begun efforts to repeal the bulb law. After one such bill failed in the House last week, Republicans revived and passed it in the form of an amendment to the Energy Department's appropriations bill, stripping out funding for enforcing the law. That amendment faces more resistance in the Senate, but the move has given impetus to efforts in several states to get around the law by exempting bulbs manufactured and sold within state boundaries. Such a measure passed the Texas Legislature; others are pending in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

It remains to be seen whether those state bills would have much impact. The light-bulb industry supports the new energy standards and has been closing old production lines and improving technologies. An incandescent-halogen hybrid looks the same as the traditional bulb yet meets the federal standard. New fluorescents give off a warmer light than they used to. Light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs initially cost a bundle — $30 or so — but provide the desired glow, last decades, are dimmable and use a fraction of the energy.

Many opponents complain that the bulb law is an unwarranted government intrusion on their right to buy the product of their choice. But it's actually about setting standards for production, which the government does in many areas. Cribs must meet safety standards; new homes must meet energy standards; roofs have to meet fire standards.

Reducing both energy dependence and pollution is vital to the nation's future and collective health; on balance, individual consumers give up little and gain much. Edison himself, ever the forward thinker, probably would have approved.


EPA, DOE Launch “Most Efficient” Program

The EPA and Department of Energy today announced the "Most Efficient" initiative for products recognized as the most energy-efficient in their categories among those that have received the Energy Star label. The Most Efficient designation will attach to about the top 5% of products in these categories: clothes washers, heating and cooling equipment, televisions, and refrigerator-freezers.

The program provides an incentive for manufacturers to improve their products. At the same time, it will inform consumers with a sort of best of the best certification to help compare various Energy Start models.

"The new Most Efficient designation is the next step towards encouraging new, more energy-efficient products to enter the market, so that consumers will have even more choices when it comes to high performance, high efficiency products that will save them energy and money," according to Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The EPA and DOE will consider adding additional product categories for inclusion in the program starting in 2012. Products that obtain the recognition must demonstrate energy performance that is "truly exceptional, inspirational, and leading edge."

Stay Warm Without Breaking the Bank

ThermometerThe thermometer is cranked up past 70 degrees, but you're still shivering. You're not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than 50 percent of a typical household's energy budget goes toward heating and cooling the home, yet many people say their houses never feel comfortably warm. That's enough to give anyone chills.

Heat Transference 101

Cold-weather management of heat transfer -- the movement of heat from inside to outside -- is the central task of efforts to keep warm.

Warm air doesn't want to stay trapped inside. It's always trying to escape out of your home -- through windows, roofs and the basement.


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