May 23, 2002

ROSEMEAD, Calif., May 23, 2002-With summer weather and air conditioning season quickly approaching-and with it higher electric bills-Southern California Edison is encouraging its customers to "Save Energy, Save Money" by taking advantage of an array of energy efficiency programs that will help reduce their electricity costs.

"Now is the time for businesses and residents to start preparing for hot weather and taking measures that can result in big savings, and we can show them how," said Pam Bass, senior vice president for customer service.  "We had an unprecedented response to the energy rebate programs last year, which saved the state a lot of energy and customers a lot of money. This year's program offerings continue to provide cost incentives and practical ways to use electricity prudently."

SCE issued nearly 70,000 energy rebate checks to residential customers in 2001-compared to just 13,200 in 2000-while saving more than 25,000 megawatt-hours of electricity. A megawatt-hour is a million watts of electricity used for an hour. The average residential customer uses about 6,500 kilowatt-hours yearly.

Additionally, last year, SCE received nearly 1 million phone calls from customers inquiring about energy efficiency programs.  By comparison, the utility received about 200,000 such inquiries in 2000.

Energy efficiency programs currently offered by SCE to help business customers reduce energy consumption and save money include:

  • Energy Audits: An energy-use survey geared for small- and medium-sized businesses is available at SCE's Web site,, by telephone at 1-800-736-4777, or by mail to help customers identify and implement cost-effective ways to save energy.
  • Express Efficiency: Rebates are available for small- and medium-sized business customers who purchase and install a variety of qualifying energy-efficient products, including air conditioning, lighting, refrigeration, reflective window film and motors.
  • Standard Performance Contract (SPC): Rebates for specialized energy-efficient upgrades not covered by the Express Efficiency program are available to all business customers through this program. The energy savings achieved determines the rebate amount. Business owners can either have contractors handle the installation and the related energy calculations, or do the work themselves.
  • Savings By Design: Customers planning new construction or a major addition or renovation to an existing facility can defray the costs of designing and installing energy-efficient lighting, space conditioning, refrigeration, and process systems in the project.
  • Energy$mart ThermostatSM: A programmable thermostat is installed for free at qualifying businesses in selected areas of SCE's service territory to allow SCE to remotely raise temperature settings for air conditioners, which reduces energy use during hours of peak energy demand. Customers complying with certain requirements can receive up to $300 for participating in the test program.
  • Self-Generation Incentive: Both business and residential customers who purchase qualifying equipment to generate their own power may be eligible for rebates through the Self-Generation Incentive Program.  Participation in this program can help mitigate the statewide energy supply shortage, and may result in reduced electricity cost.  The program pays for up to 50% of the cost of new, environmentally friendly electric generating equipment utilizing solar and wind energy.  Fuel cells, microturbines, and internal combustion engines utilizing natural gas or renewable digester gas are also eligible.  Backup generators are not eligible for rebates in this program, and certain other restrictions apply.

Energy efficiency programs designed for residential customers include:

  • Heating and Cooling: Customers can receive rebates of up to $500 for qualifying energy-efficient products. The rebates cover whole-house evaporative coolers, ENERGY STAR®-labeled room air conditioners and programmable thermostats, central air conditioners, central heat pumps, high-performance windows, and whole-house fans.
  • Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: Eligible customers can get $35 or a five-pack of compact fluorescent light bulbs (a $50 value) when they replace old, working refrigerators or freezers.
  • Pool Pump and Motor Replacement: Installing an energy-efficient pool pump and motor reduces energy usage and garners up to a $250 rebate.
  • Online Home Energy Survey: Take SCE's online home energy survey and receive customized energy-efficiency recommendations that can reduce your bill.
  • Multifamily Rebates:  Cash rebates are available for the installation of qualifying energy-efficient improvements, such as lighting, programmable thermostats, and air conditioning, in apartment units and common areas of apartment and condominium complexes, as well as common areas of mobile home parks.  Property owners and property managers of existing residential multifamily complexes with five or more units can qualify.

Customers meeting income guidelines also can qualify for a replacement refrigerator, four free compact fluorescent light bulbs, or free weatherization services.

For more information on SCE's energy efficiency programs, customers can go to and select "Save Energy & Money" or call 1-800-736-4777 weekdays during business hours.

Funding for these energy efficiency programs is provided by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison within its service area under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. 

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.  For more information on the California electricity market, see