Fisherman's Wharf at Night
Energy efficient choices can save families about a third on their energy bill - saving money, reducing your carbon footprint, and making a statement - without sacrificing features, style or comfort. Did you know that the City of Monterey purchases 100% of its power from a renewable energy provider? See the related article, "City of Monterey Purchases 100% Renewable Power"
City Buildings Reduce Energy Consumption and Costs
The City implemented several lighting upgrades throughout the City. The old lighting fixtures were replaced with the latest lighting technologies available and are reducing average energy consumption by 35%. More importantly: Every kwH saved reduces the need to produce this energy, thus reducing the carbon emissions and carbon footprint for the Monterey peninsula.
Rebates Help Fund Projects
The projects were partly funded through rebates received from the California Public Utilities Commission. The projects were completed within budget at $640,000. The City received rebates in the amount of $75,000. By tracking our energy consumption and their associated costs, we anticipate a cost savings of approximately $50,000 annually.
The Monterey Sport Center project began in 2005 by replacing the lighting in the Gymnasium. In 2007 high-pressure sodium lights in the swimming pool area were replaced with induction lighting. The anticipated yearly savings from these changes is approximately $47,000.
Lighting Upgrades Reduce Maintenance Costs
The new lights have a life expectancy of more than 100,000 hours compared to the 30,000 hours for the older types, thus cutting back on replacement cycles and maintenance costs. These additional savings are estimated to be around $65,000 over the lifetime of the lights for all project sites. The time savings can be now be allocated to other areas in the City, thus raising the standard of our services.
Water is scarce in Monterey and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is here to help you conserve this valuable resource. MPWMD offers great reward programs to residents and businesses that are willing to make the switch to water conserving operations. For more information on the rebate programs for water conserving appliances, contact the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District's rebate application. Are you curious to know if your recently purchased appliance qualifies for a rebate? Check out montereywaterinfo.org for details.
Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products that has been in place since 1992. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Devices carrying the Energy Star logo, such as computer products, kitchen appliances, buildings and other products, save an average of 20%-30% of electricity. If looking for new household products, look for ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR. They meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy. More information about Energy Star programs and products is available at www.energystar.gov/.
Do your energy efficient upgrades qualify you for a tax break? Homeowners and builders may qualify for energy-efficiency tax credits under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Also, you may be eligible for rebates when installing solar panels on your home or business, see Go Solar California for more info, www.gosolarcalifornia.org/.
Old CFL's can be taken to the following locations for safe disposal on the Peninsula:
Mercury is an element (Hg on the periodic table) found naturally in the environment. Mercury emissions in the air can come from both natural and man-made sources. Utility power plants (mainly coal-fired) are the largest man-made source, because mercury that naturally exists in coal is released into the air when coal is burned to make electricity. Energy efficient CFLs present an opportunity to prevent mercury emissions from entering the environment because they help to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants. Coal-fired power generation accounts for roughly 40 percent of the mercury emissions in the U.S.
EPA is implementing policies to reduce airborne mercury emissions. Under regulations EPA issued in 2005, mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants will drop by nearly 70 percent by 2018.
For more information on all sources of mercury, visit: www.epa.gov/mercury.
EPA is continually reviewing its clean-up and disposal recommendations for CFLs to ensure that the Agency presents the most up-to-date information for consumers and businesses.
For more information about compact fluorescent bulbs, visit: www.energystar.gov.
EPA recommends the following clean-up and disposal guidelines:
EPA recommends that consumers take advantage of local recycling options for compact fluorescent light bulbs, where available. EPA is working with CFL manufacturers and major U.S. retailers to expand disposal options. Consumers can contact their local municipal solid waste agency directly, or go to www.lamprecycle.org and click on “State Lamp Recycling Regulations & Contacts” to identify local recycling options.
If your state permits you to put used or broken CFLs in the garbage, seal the CFL in two plastic bags and put into the outside trash. CFLs should not be disposed of in an incinerator.
ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs have a warranty. If the bulb has failed within the warranty period, return it to your retailer.
CFLs are made of glass and can break if dropped or roughly handled. Be careful when removing the bulb from its packaging, installing it, or replacing it. Always screw and unscrew the lamp by its base (not the glass), and never forcefully twist the CFL into a light socket. If a CFL breaks in your home, follow the clean-up recommendations below. Used CFLs should be disposed of properly.
CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing – an average of 5 milligrams, which is roughly equivalent to an amount that would cover the tip of a ball-point pen. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact or in use. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury. It would take 100 CFLs to equal that amount.
Mercury currently is an essential component of CFLs and is what allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. Many manufacturers have taken significant steps to reduce mercury used in their fluorescent lighting products. In fact, the average amount of mercury in a CFL is anticipated to drop by the end of 2007, thanks to technology advances and a commitment from the members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
Switching from traditional light bulbs to CFLs is an effective, accessible change every American can make right now to reduce energy use at home and prevent greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.
Lighting accounts for close to 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill. Changing to CFLs costs little upfront and provides a quick return on investment.
If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars annually.
526 Pierce Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Voice: (831) 646-5662
8am to 5pm
Monday - Friday
Ted J. Terrasas, REHS