Santa Monica residents and small business owners alike who are interested in making their home or business more energy-efficient can receive a no-cost, one-time, on-site energy efficiency tune-up from the Community Energy Partnership (CEP).
The CEP is a “partnership among 10 Southern California cities [including Santa Monica], Southern California Edison, The Gas Company, and The Energy Coalition. Its mission is to build positive relationships among cities, energy consumers, and their serving utilities, and to educate communities about sustainable energy efficiency practices.” The program is funded by the California utility ratepayers, and is administered by Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas Company.
Angela Davison, CEP’s program manager, told the Mirror that the goal of the on-site energy tune-up is to give the participant a “jump start” on energy efficiency by “introducing them to energy efficiency technology and making them aware of energy programs available through their utility companies.” She also noted that even though the focus is on “gas and electricity savings,” reducing use of these utilities would lead to saving water as well. So far, 86 tune-ups have been completed in Santa Monica this year.
CEP’s certified contractors provide an average of $200 worth of direct services (materials and labor) to each resident or business at no cost. Each tune-up consists of a three-step process, which includes an energy assessment, energy tune-up, and a flagging for further energy savings. According the CEP, the process includes installing “compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s), checking for leaks in windows and doors, installing caulking and weather stripping, checking water heater age, type, and temperature, installing water heater wrap and pipe insulation, and installing faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads.” The contractors also ask about how much the participants have paid for their utility bills during the different seasons of the year, discuss the products they have installed, make further recommendations for further energy saving actions, and give the participants energy-saving fact sheets and other utility program information.
The partnership also has a student education program called PEAK for elementary and middle school students. The goal of this program, according to Davison, is to “teach students to become smart energy managers at school and at home through a science-based curriculum” that is provided to school districts by CEP.
CEP started in 1998 with just two cities as members – Santa Monica and Irvine – and became more popular after the rolling blackouts in 2000.
Those interested in having an energy tune-up can call CEP’s contractors hotline at 800.447.7611. For more information about CEP, call 949.701.4646 or go to energycoalition.org.