Home > Energy > The Redwood Coast Energy Watch can help you save money on your next utility bill

The Redwood Coast Energy Watch can help you save money on your next utility bill

(Here’s a cool thing you might have missed.  Press Release below – H.).

Call the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) today to learn about the Free Energy Efficiency Services offered for your home 707-269-1700.

Energy technicians will identify opportunities for efficiency upgrades throughout your home and install Free devices with your approval.

  • Free Compact Fluorescent Lamps*
  • Free low-flow faucet aerator and showerheads*
  • Free hot water pipe insulation*

*Restrictions do apply- call for details

Learn about current energy efficiency rebates and financing for efficiency upgrades. Learn energy saving tips you can start using today.

Who is eligible? All renters and home owners in Humboldt County that are Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) customers are eligible.

Who is RCEA? The Redwood Coast Energy Authority is a Joint Powers Authority whose members include the County of Humboldt; the cities of Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Ferndale, Fortuna, Rio Dell, and Trinidad; and the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. RCEA’s mission is to develop and implement sustainable energy initiatives that reduce energy demand, increase energy efficiency, and advance the use of clean, efficient, and renewable resources in the region.

Funding is limited. Services and incentives are provided on a first-come first-served basis and only while funding lasts. California consumers are not obligated to purchase any full-fee service or other service not funded by this program. This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by PG&E under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Call today to learn more 707-269-1700.

Ben Mattio
Energy Specialist
Redwood Coast Energy Watch Program

  1. 69er
    March 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Anyone that chooses to NOT take advantage of this program is making a foolish move. I have asked them in twice over the years and received excellent service and advice. I recommend it highly.

  2. walt
    March 20, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Does this apply to dope growers too? Doesn’t seem like there’s much point in saving saving watts when megawatts are spent on dozens and dozens of (subsidized) grows.

  3. Gil Yule
    March 20, 2012 at 7:38 am

    RCEA provides an amazing service with no downside that I can see. They voluntarily came to my home last year and replaced all of my old incandescent light bulbs with the more energy efficient CFL’s and no one guilt-tripped, charged or tried to sell me a single thing.

    I’m not used to being treated like this. I highly recommend their service.

  4. March 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Just had it done, three new light fixtures, 5 new cfls, 3 aerators, 2 new shower heads.

  5. Big Dawg
    March 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Hey Mark,

    Did you collect your $1,000 bet from Murl Harpham yet over the video of the police beating the occupy protestor?

  6. March 20, 2012 at 11:06 am

    RCEA provides an amazing service with no downside that I can see.

    I believe they were the same folks that PG&E sent to our house to do all kinds of energy stuff. A couple problems after all was said and done:

    They turned our water heater way down and it was just too cold. Not that big of a deal as I just had to turn it up a bit. Maybe their setting would have worked on more modern homes but our pipes are real old and lined with rust and sediment so we had problems with getting warm water even before they changed the setting.

    The other could have been a safety hazard: They changed the venting on our forced air heater. I had no idea but when we had a plumber come to work on our heater he noticed it was done unsafely and the pipes weren’t connected properly causing an unsafe venting situation. Took him a while to fix it. He hadn’t planned on dealing with that but l guess had to, legally, since it was a safety issue.

    Also, one of the guys said our stove was emitting too much carbon monoxide. He called it in to PG&E and the gas guy came out right way- that being considered an emergency. Problem was, the gas guy said it wasn’t and the CO emissions were within acceptable limits. He said that was a fairly common problem with that contractor- calling in things that weren’t emergencies.

    For all that, I’m not sure if we’ve saved any energy with all the light bulbs that were replaced, weather stripping, new refrigerator and the rest. I haven’t noticed a change in our PG&E bill. If anything, it seems the same, or higher. Last time I checked their web site it said our cost was higher because the cost of energy went up.

    I’ll have to look closer one of these days at their site will tell you if you used more or less energy in comparison with specific years in the past, but I’m not sure you could still tell. Our PG&E last month seemed rather high to me as I thought we’d used the heater less. Maybe we used it more?

    And how would you know if more use was just the result of it being a colder than normal winter as this seemed to be? If put on the spot, I’d say I haven’t noticed any change.

  7. Anonymous
    March 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Fred that was NOT RCEA that was ATLAS they are subcontractors that come from other places, have little to no accountability and do slipshod work. You probably received a call at your home offering an opportunity to save you lots of money, they represent themselves as PG&E they are actually getting PG&E rebates for doing the work IF you qualify. They offered to do energy efficient retrofits of my rental properties last year, I told them I paid the PG&E bills and do not qualify, my income is too high. They suggested I change the name on my PG&E bill to my tenants and then the home would qualify. I said, so I own the home, I pay the PG&E, I do not income qualify and you will still improve my property for me for free? He said, “That’s the rules”. I replied, that’s fraud, and reported the call to PG&E.

  8. Plain Jane
    March 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    You’re an idiot 11:52. There is no fraud involved in switching the billing name to a renter who is paying for the utilities through their rent. Few landlords would income qualify for energy saving improvements but many tenants do. The purpose is to reduce energy use instead of build more power plants. It doesn’t matter who owns the building.

  9. Anonymous
    March 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Sorry PJ, I must have not been clear. I told them I pay the PG&E and will continue to. He told me to change the name on the account (not the mailing address) then the house would qualify because the tenant qualifies. The tenant saves nothing, I save because I pay the PG&E. I am not an idiot, I am honest and I understand the rebate is meant to save low-income people money on their energy.

  10. Plain Jane
    March 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    No, it’s to save energy. It benefits consumers by lowering their bills, but that isn’t the purpose. It’s cheaper to cut energy use than to increase energy supply.

  11. Anonymous
    March 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    “The purpose is to reduce energy use instead of build more power plants. It doesn’t matter who owns the building.”

    I get what you are saying, But there are other programs that help people like me, Energy Upgrade California rebates for up to 4000 per home is one of them, CHF financing (3% loans for 100% of energy efficient retrofit costs), which combined with EUC can actually save more monthly than the loan payment (super easy to qualify for too).

    The ATLAS program is specifically for low income, if my tenants PG&E goes up, I don’t raise the rent, nor do I lower it when it goes down. I also pay the water and the garbage.They are energy efficient beautiful, affordable homes. My tenants rarely leave and appreciate knowing what their monthly expenses for their home are going to be.

  12. High Finance
    March 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Not criticising the program but there is a “downside”.

    These subsidies are paid by all the other taxpayers who fund these “free” programs.

    Nothing but nothing is “free”.

  13. Anonymous
    March 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    http://www.pge.com/myhome/customerservice/financialassistance/energysavingsassistanceprogram/

    This is the program ATLAS does energy efficient retrofits for. They are subcontracted by Richard Heath and associates who has the contract to provide these services for PG&E. These services are for Income Qualified People. This program is funded through the rate payers under the Public Goods Surcharge.

    There are all kinds of programs for all kinds of people and Redwood Coast Energy Authority IS your Energy Watch Partner. They can tell you all about all of these programs. And they will not sub you out to a crummy contractor from out of the area who wont follow through. They have actually created jobs for our local guys to come out and tell you what you qualify for and give you some stuff for free while they are at it.

  14. tra
    March 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Anon 10:07,

    I don’t know the details on this particular program, but generally such programs are intended to save energy as well as to save money for low-income consumers. If energy savings is one of the goals, and the rules allow you to apply under your tenant’s name, even though you are the one paying the bill (and the tenant is paying indirectly, through their rent) then if you chose to take advantage of the program that would not be fraud on your part. It might, however, be an indication that the current rules of the program do not guarantee that the program will save money for low-income consumers.

    Of course if you kept track of the money you saved on your energy bills due to the improvements in efficiency, and passed that along to your tenant(s) in the form of lower rent, you would, through your own voluntary action, be carrying out the spirit of the law, as well as the letter of the law. However, since most landlords in your position probably wouldn’t take that step, I would have to agree that most low-income tenants would not see any direct benefit to their own bottom-line.

    I guess in the big picture, one could argue that if enough landlords used the program, those who passed at least some of the savings on to their tenants in the form of lower rent would have an easier time attracting and retaining tenants and therefore some benefit would accrue to both those landlords and those tenants. But in a tight rental market, where there are plenty of would-be tenants and an undersupply of rental units, and therefore plenty of upward pressure on rents, that effect might be negligible.

  15. Anonymous
    March 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Fi, The rate payers pay PG&E an investor owned utility, not the government. But you are right, it isn’t free, PG&E just redistributes it.

    Wow, PJ called me an idiot and I agree with Hi Fi. Am I in the twilight zone?

  16. tra
    March 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Nothing but nothing is free.

    True, but increasing energy conservation and energy efficiency improvements are, in the long term, probably about as close to “free” as it gets in this world.

    Yes, energy conservation and efficiency measures do cost money up front, and that had to be paid for either directly by an individual, or through one of these sorts of programs, funded by ratepayers or taxpayers. But if the measures are effective in terms of substantially reducing the demand for energy, this displaces the need for additional energy generation, which — one way or the other — is paid for by ratepayers and/or taxpayers.

    And that’s even before we consider factors like pollution, dependence on foreign oil, etc., etc.

    So, not “free,” but potentially one hell of a good bargain.

  17. unanonymous
    March 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    this program and the CARE low income subsidy program account for 10% of my 300$/month electricity bill. it seems a little high to me. I would like both programs audited for fraud.

  18. unanonymous
    March 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    its called public purpose programs —-

  19. tra
    March 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I think it’s been made pretty clear over the past several years that the CARE program is being abused by some indoor cannabis growers in this area, how many, I have no way of knowing, but I’m guessing that it is more than just a handful.

    I’m generally in favor of leaning towards giving the benefit of the doubt to medical cannabis patients, but at the point where someone is growing hundreds of plants under dozens of 1,000 watt lights, I have a real, real hard time believing that this is all for personal use and that their income is really so low that they need a CARE subsidy. But this is obviously a different issue than RCEA program. I kind of doubt that a lot of commercial indoor cannabis growers are inviting RCEA into their grow spaces.

  20. unanonymous
    March 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    yes but statewide I am sure there are some entities administering the program committing fraud. I would like to see the numbers.

  21. March 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Fred that was NOT RCEA that was ATLAS they are subcontractors that come from other places, have little to no accountability and do slipshod work.

    That was the name of the outfit: Atlas. I should clarify that I wasn’t intending to complain about their work. Just point out a few slight problems. I appreciate their efforts.

    The main point I was trying to make was I’m not sure we’ve saved much energy as a result of the work, much less saved money, although I can’t be sure.

    As far as rentals and such, I think it was the PG&E gas guy that told me there’s some interesting dilemmas with rentals and that program. He was saying the work could be done to rentals but could end up screwing the landlord, if I remember it correctly.

    For instance, they’ll replace a refrigerator in a rental, but who does the new refrigerator belong to? I believe he said the tenant was entitled to keep it, even if the refrigerator that was replaced originally was the rental owners. I think I have that right.

  22. tra
    March 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    If there’s evidence of fraud then of course it should be investigated, and audit provisions and safeguards should be sufficient to detect any significant fraud. I’m all in favor of all programs running a tight ship, and I don’t doubt that some aren’t. Whether the energy conservation and efficiency programs are among those that aren’t, I don’t know.

    That being said, people who are legitimately eligible should certainly consider taking part in the programs that do exist. In my view, that benefits all of us.

  23. TimH
    March 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    If it is OK for landlords, why would Anon @ 11:52 have to change the P G & E bill to the tenants’ names?

  24. tra
    March 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Good question. Apparently someone with this ATLAS program told Anon that it was within the rules to do that. If they were lying, then, yes, it could be an intent to defraud.

    Either way, that’s not RCEA’s program, which is what this thread is about.

  25. Plain Jane
    March 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    It is okay for landlords, in fact they have to grant permission for any work to be done on their property. I know a number of people who had upgrades and repairs done to their rentals, new refrigerators and heaters, etc. including people whose PG&E is included in their rent or billed to their landlord by PG&E and then billed to tenants by the landlord. The only income standard that is relevant is that of the occupants.

  26. tra
    March 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    It seems that there are several different programs; the eligibility rules may differ depending on the program.

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