Energy Efficiency Tips and Links


  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) or light emitting diode bulbs (LED). CFLs use 3 to 4 times less energy and last 8-10 times longer than an incandescent bulb. LEDs use half as much energy and last 5 times longer than CFLs and do not contain mercury.

  • Install motion sensors or photocells on outdoor lights.

  • Remember to turn off lights when not being used.

Heating & cooling

  • Reduce hot water use by installing low-flow showerheads and faucets. Check with your water company for free water saving devices.

  • Make sure your home is well insulated. Ceiling insulation is most important for year round comfort and savings. Also consider adding floor or wall insulation.

  • Make sure that heating and cooling ducts are sealed and insulated.

  • Buy high efficiency heating and air conditioning equipment.

  • Install an Energy Star programmable thermostat.

  • Clean furnace filters monthly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use.

  • If you're replacing old windows, select high performance windows designed to keep in heat during winter and keep out heat in summer.

  • Plant shade trees to keep your home cool in the summer.

  • Stop leaks around doors and windows with weatherstripping and caulking.


  • Buy energy-efficient appliances. Look for the Energy Star label.

Water Heating and Hot Water Use

  • Check with your water company for free water saving devices.

  • Check for leaks. A leaky hot water faucet will waste water and heat.

  • Lower your water heater's thermostat to 120ºF, unless the owner's manual for your dishwasher requires a higher setting.

  • Operate your dishwasher with full loads only.

For More About Energy Efficiency:

San Mateo County Energy Watch

San Mateo County Energy Watch . Provides energy-efficiency services and incentives for qualifying low-income residents, businesses, public agencies, and non-profits in San Mateo County.

Power Profiler

Power Profiler . An informative site by the US EPA about how clean our local energy sources are in relation to the nation as a whole. For instance, it will tell you that 9% of our energy comes from renewable energy sources and 12% comes from coal (compared to 2% and 52% nationwide). Information on energy efficiency and the quantities of nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide your energy usage produces is also available.

Energy Star

Energy Star . Information on products that carry the Energy Star label. These products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy.

Pacific Gas and Electric

PG&E .

Flex Your Power

Flex Your Power . California's energy efficiency resource for residents, businesses and institutions. Find rebates, local stores carrying energy- and water-saving appliances and products, home improvement resources, a free electronic newsletter, and much more.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy . Offers 'Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings' intended to help inform consumers how to save energy. Tips and information on buttoning up your home, new windows, heating systems, lighting and more can be found here.

Alliance to Save Energy

Alliance to Save Energy . Offers free energy saving tips with its consumer booklet, Power$mart: The Power is in Your Hands.

Home Energy Saver

Home Energy Saver . Determine the energy consumption of your home and find ways to reduce it through a web-based do-it-yourself energy audit tool.

US Department of Energy

US Department of Energy offers a range of information on Energy Efficiency.

California Energy Commission (CEC)

California Energy Commission (CEC) . CEC offers the Consumer Energy Center which provides information on product choices, rebates, grants and loans, renewable energy choices and tax credits, transportation choices, and energy saving tips and ideas.

Consortium for Energy Efficiency

Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) . CEE offers information on residential and commercial energy efficient products and services.