Rossmoor News Editorial
By Cathy Tallyn
Residents learned how they can be more energy efficient, reduce their PG&E and water bills and realize a quick savings of $700 in the process.
Some 70 residents were on hand at an hour-long information session last Wednesday afternoon, sponsored by the Rossmoor Residents Association (RRA) with speakers from the East Bay Municipal. Utilities District (EBMUD) and two home contracting businesses. Conspicuously absent was a representative from PG&E, who pulled out of the program.
More than two-thirds of the audience signed up on the spot for $700 worth of free services offered by the companies. Those services include a home energy audit, a duct test and an air conditioner tune-up. The speakers consider the afternoon program so successful that they want to do another, said Susan Evans of
the RRA. Before the presentations, she briefly talked about how Rossmoor residents are already environmentally aware — with used battery and old medication drop-off sites at Gateway. Residents were told:
They each should cut back water usage to 50 gallons per day, about 12 gallons less than they use today
Spend money now on insulation, duct work, weatherization and an air conditioner tune up, among other things, and not only reduce power bills, but also improve indoor air quality. The EBMUD representative, Rolando Gonzalez, offered common sense tips on how to cut back on water usage. He also told residents they can take advantage of the district’s free water use audit, its rebates for new washers and toilets and its offer of free water-saving devices, such as low flow shower heads.
The two contractors also offered advice as well as a free home audit, a comprehensive duct test and an air conditioner tune-up. “People say, ‘I already conserve water,” said Gonzalez. “Most people are not aware of how much they can save.” Gonzalez suggested people look for leaks, in particular in their toilets, which he said is “One of the biggest culprits is leaks.” He said that this is the third consecutive dry year, making conservation a must although the district’s call for reduced water use is now voluntary, not mandatory.
Ori Skloot, President of Advanced Home Energy, noted how old some manors are. “The technology and the way we build things have changed dramatically,” he said. By making a home more energy efficient, residents can save money in the long run, he said. “I’ve seen (PG&E) bills of $800 a month. That’s a little tough on a fixed income,” he said.
Skloot cited the work he did on a manor on Terra Granada Drive. The homeowner had been paying as much as $480 a month to PG&E. He had dirty fiberglass insulation in the attic and leaking ducts, among other things. After some work, the bill was reduced by $200 a month. Another plus was that the indoor air quality is also better.