How to make your Los Angeles home more energy efficient
California consistently ranks among the most energy-efficient states in the country. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has named it the most energy-efficient in the United States as well as the state with the highest renewable energy rates.
If you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient, take a few tips from reputable Los Angeles-area electricians.
Ian Marsh, owner of highly rated South Bay Electric Company in Gardena, Calif., says LED lighting, motion-activated sensors and solar panels are some of the most effective technologies for energy efficiency in your home. Marsh says LED light bulbs, which take significantly less time to start than fluorescent bulbs, conserve more energy.
California residents investing in home remodeling or construction also need to make sure their project is in compliance with state and local government energy policies.
“Los Angeles and surrounding areas are now required to comply with Building Efficiency Standards (Title 24), which states that at least 50 percent of the lighting in kitchens must be fluorescent,” Marsh says. “If not, there must be a vacancy-sensor switch. Also, any remodeling, new construction or rewiring work must meet new energy-efficient requirements as stated in the Title 24 code.”
Advantages of energy efficient lighting can include government and utility incentives, but not everyone is making the switch.
“People know how to go green, they just choose not to,” Marsh says “Compact fluorescent lighting is much more energy efficient. The problem people have with using them is their brightness. They haven’t been able to come up with a way to dim the light adequately, so people shy away from getting them.”
In addition to ensuring your home is equipped with energy-efficient features, Marsh says you can take additional steps to cut down on energy use.
“Shut down your lights and your appliances as often as you can. Keep things unplugged at night, such as the microwave or the stove,” he suggests. “We tend to overlook them, but they have displays that use energy just to show us what time it is throughout the entire night. You would be surprised by how much money you can save just by taking a minute to follow these steps every night.”
Luis Martinez, production manager for highly rated The Electric Connection in Tujonga, Calif., says there are several small changes an electrician can make that will help save energy and lower your monthly bill:
- Install dimmers on your lights. This allows you to decrease the amount of electricity you’re using when you don’t need as much light.
- Install a programmable thermostat. This will automatically control the temperature when no one’s home.
- Consider replacing less energy efficient appliances like air conditioners and furnaces with Energy Star appliances that reduce monthly utility bills.