For immediate release: February 9, 2001
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Consumer Energy Center: On-line Help for Californians



Sacramento -- Information is money. Now, with a click of a mouse, Californians can save money and electricity by making informed energy choices from the Internet in the comfort of their homes or businesses.

The new on-line Consumer Energy Center at www.consumerenergycenter.org, unveiled as part as Governor Davis' state-wide "Flex Your Power" campaign, is devoted entirely to energy efficiency and alternatives choices consumers can make in their homes and businesses.

Developed by the California Energy Commission, the Center comes on-line at a time when California is experiencing uncontrolled electricity and natural gas prices as well as the threat of potential rolling blackouts. As a result, the need for current and reliable information is high. Last year, Californians paid $26 billion for their electricity.

The new Web Site offers consumers energy-wise ideas and information from A to Z -- from alternative energy topics on the cost and benefits in investing in renewables such as solar panels and small scale wind projects, to zonal home and building efficiency and construction practices to suit the State's various climate regions.

First slated to be constructed as a physical facility in Sacramento, the Energy Center was modified by the Energy Commission to become a one-stop, virtual Web resource that would reach more consumers and allow information to be updated quickly and with fewer maintenance costs.

"Our entire emphasis for the Consumer Energy Center is choice," explained William J. Keese, Energy Commission Chairman. "The more information consumers have, the better choices they make to reduce their energy use. This keeps money in their pockets and makes their homes and businesses more comfortable."

To discourage energy extravagance, the Center hopes to keep consumers plugged into new developments such as light colored roofs that save on air conditioning costs, geothermal heat pumps that use energy from the earth's crust, and the latest double-paned windows, solar panel systems, radiant floors and evaporative coolers. The Web Site shows electricity users how to maximize the effectiveness of ducts and vents, and how to optimize the electricity use of computers, cell phones, microwave ovens and other standard features of 21st century living.

The new on-line Energy Center also encourages the design of green and sustainable commercial buildings. It sorts out the details of such lighting ideas as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and daylighting to save on electricity while increasing the productivity level in business establishments and schools.

The new Process Energy section for industrial and agricultural consumers provides resources for new energy efficient technologies used in farm irrigation, dairy farming and the treatment of drinking and non-potable water.

Because Californians spend $74 billion a year on transportation energy, the Consumer Energy Center provides information to encourage the choice of vehicles fueled by natural gas, hybrid gas-electric cars and other kinds of low emission vehicles. The point is to help the State reduce air pollution and demonstrate alternatives to traditional gasoline powered cars.

The newly unveiled Consumer Energy Center can be accessed at:

www.consumerenergycenter.org

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