Energy Conservation is important. This site provides information about City
resources available, what you can do around the home and your power company's
The City of Gilroy keeps track of all its energy and gas usage through a
computer software program. The City is able to provide reports useful for
budgeting and rebate applictions. If you would like more information,
please email us at email@example.com.
Energy Conservation Brochures are available in the "Resource Area" of the City
Hall lobby for your convenience. City Hall is located at 7351 Rosanna Street,
Gilroy, CA. 95020 (408) 846-0400. These brochures include:
These are some brief pointers on what you can do at home.
Insulation. You can increase the comfort of your home while reducing your heating
and cooling needs by up to 30% by investing just a few hundred dollars in proper
insulation and weatherization products.
Heating and Cooling. Insulating ducts that are in unconditioned spaces is usually
very cost effective. If you are buying a new duct system, consider one that comes
with insulation already installed. If you use electricity to heat your home,
consider installing an energy-efficient heat pump system. Look into solar
heating. Solar can cut your energy costs up to 50%.
Water Heating. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less
hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water
heater, and buy a new, more efficient water heater. A family of four, each
showering for 5 minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water a week; this is enough
for a 3-year supply of drinking water for one person! You can cut that amount in
half simply by using low-flow nonaerating showerheads and faucets (DOE, 2002).
Windows. If your home has single-pane windows, as almost half of U.S. homes do,
consider replacing them with dual-paned windows. If you can't replace your
windows, you can shade your windows in the summer and seal any drafts or
leaks in the winter to save energy.
Landscaping. Shading and evaporative cooling from trees can reduce the air
temperature around your home and save cooling costs in the summer. Deciduous
trees planted on the south and on the west will help keep your house cool in
the summer and allow sun to shine in the windows in the winter.
Lights. Increasing your lighting efficiency is one of the fastest ways to
decrease your energy bills. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than
incandescent bulbs and last 6 to 10 times longer. Although fluorescent and
compact fluorescent lamps are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they
pay for themselves by saving energy over their lifetime. And, of course,
turn off lights when you're not in the room!
Appliances. When you do have to shop for a new appliance, look for
the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR® appliances have been identified by
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and DOE as being the most
energy-efficient products in their classes. They usually exceed minimum
federal standards by a substantial amount. The DOE appliance shopping
guide lists some of the major appliances that carry the ENERGY STAR® label
and provides helpful information on what to look for when shopping for an appliance.
Also, only use your appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, etc) when
they are full. Open the dishwasher door and let your dishes dry naturally,
clean your refridgerator coils regularly, and set your computer to energy
saving mode that powers off when not in use.
Your Local PG&E: 111 Almaden Blvd., San Jose, CA 95115
Customer Service: 1-800-743-5000
Smarter Energy Hotline: 1-800-933-9555
For Spanish: 1-800-660-6789
Visit the PG&E site for a wealth of information. They have tons of great
tips on energy efficiency in the house and at the office, rebate information,
materials for kids and teachers, and much more.
Some safety tips they promote include:
Gas Meter. Know where your main gas shutoff valve is in case you need to shut it
off in an emergency. Keep a wrench nearby. Call PG&E to turn it back on.
Appliance Shutoff Valve. Know which of your home's appliances run on natural gas.
Know where their appliance shutoff valves are located. In most cases, turning
off the gas at the appliance's shutoff valve will suffice.
Pilot Lights. Know which, if any, of your appliances have a pilot light.
Keep the manufacturer's relighting instructions within easy reach
Gas Odors. Keep a flashlight handy to investigate minor gas odors. Check pilot
lights to make sure they are lit. Never use matches or candles, and never turn
any electric switches on or off if you smell gas. Always wait five minutes to let
gas disperse before trying to relight your appliance. If the smell or sound of
escaping gas continues or if you have any doubts, open windows and doors and get
everyone out of the building. Call PG&E or 911 from the nearest phone away from
the gas odor.
Main Electric Switch. Know where your home's main electric switch is, so you can
turn off the electric supply to your entire home quickly in case of an emergency.
Fuses. Know where your fuse box or circuit-breaker box is located. Know the
correct sizes of any fuses needed in your home and keep spares on hand. Blown
fuses must be replaced, not repaired. Do not replace a fuse with one of higher
amperage. If a fuse blows, disconnect or turn off the appliance(s) that may have
caused the problem. Shut off the main electric switch before replacing a fuse.
Circuit Breaker. Know how to reset a circuit breaker. After turning off or
unplugging appliances on the circuit, push the switch firmly to the off position,
then back on. If the overload is cleared, the electricity will come back on. If
your circuit breakers trip off repeatedly, there could be a problem with the
appliance(s) on that circuit. If the appliances are unplugged but the circuit
breaker trips off again, call an electrician.
Electric Appliances. Do not place electric cords under rugs or where they can be
walked on or damage can go unnoticed. Check for cords that are broken, frayed,
damaged or tied in knots, or that have melted insulation. Have them repaired or
replaced promptly. Use extension cords with three-pronged plugs for appliances
that require grounding. Insert and remove plugs by grasping the plug. Pulling on
the cord could damage it. Be careful not to let fingers touch the metal prongs.
Cords. Don't overload an outlet with too many lamps or appliances. Put safety
covers over unused electric outlets. This is particularly important if you have
children in your home. Never let children play around outlets.
Electric Heaters. Don't hang clothes to dry on or near your heater, heating
vent or hot plate. Avoid placing furniture and blankets close to heaters or hot
plates. Use only appliances with the Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) symbol.
This symbol shows that the product has been safety-tested.
Electric and Water. Electric appliances and water can be a lethal combination. If
an appliance falls into a sink or tub of water, or if you touch an appliance with
wet hands or while standing in water, you risk severe electricshock and possibly
death. Never use any electric appliances - radios (except small battery-powered
ones), TVs, hair dryers - near sinks, toilets or bathtubs. Always dry your hands
before touching electric appliances. Keep the floor around your washer and dryer
clean and dry. Unplug small appliances when washing them. Never immerse appliances
such as rice cookers in water. This could damage them and give you an electric shock.