Good Energy-Saving Investments
Do you need any new appliances, or are you planning to do some remodeling? Consider these energy efficiency suggestions before you purchase.

Choose ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics. 
When buying new appliances, choose ENERGY STAR-certified models. For example, a new ENERGY STAR refrigerator uses about 20 percent less energy than a standard new refrigerator, and 46 percent less than one made in 1980. A new Energy Star® clothes washer uses nearly 50 percent less energy than a standard washer.

Install a programmable thermostat. 
If you have a heat pump, select a model designed for heat pumps. Set-back thermostats can save up to 15 percent on energy costs.

Increase ceiling insulation. 
If your ceiling is uninsulated or scantily insulated, consider increasing your insulation to up to R-38 to reduce heating costs by 5-25 percent.

Seal ducts. 
Leaking ductwork accounts for more than 25 top 30 percent of heating costs in an average California home. Consider hiring a contractor to test the tightness of your ducts and repair leaks and restrictions in your duct. Many utilities have programs to assist you. Check out the Flex Your Power Web site for rebate and consumer programs or contact or local utility.

High-efficiency windows. 
If you are planning to replace your windows, choosing ENERGY STAR windows can reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 15 percent.