March 6, 2001

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There is a major energy hemorrhage gushing out of the vast majority of American homes. Billion of dollars per year are currently being lost through leaky heating and cooling ducts.  These leaks waste 20 to 40 percent of our heating and cooling energy.  In California alone, the potential savings from sealing residential ducts adds up to $1-2 billion per year.  That's enough to fund the state's current utility rescue plan AND enough to build an extra 1,000 megawatts of generation -- each year.  Now, simple new technology makes it possible to seal these leaks.

Lighting researchers here have developed a high performance, energy-efficient table lamp for use both at home and in the office.  The lamp uses two fully dimmable compact fluorescent lamps to direct light down to illuminate a desk, and/or up toward the ceiling, providing indirect room lighting.  This two-lamp system matches the combined luminous output of a 300-watt halogen lamp and a 150-watt, incandescent table lamp while using only a quarter of the energy.

Homeowners dealing with energy billing pains can find relief through two websites that custom-design an energy and money savings plan for their specific home and locale.  These interactive sites invite residents to input information about their dwelling and then produce a tailor-made list of improvements, calculating the cost and the savings from each upgrade. In addition, one site also calculates the air pollution created by the home's energy usage.  The other is especially tailored for energy-efficient home remodeling.

Energy Myth #1: California is an energy hog that now is paying the price for its electricity profligacy.  That is the canard.  Fact is, very few states rank with California when it comes to its energy thrift.

Energy Myth #2:
Sure, California's economy has been booming, but it has been powered by a ravenous appetite for more electricity.  Again, that is a fable.  California's energy growth has been moderate, on par with that of the nation.

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