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Peninsula Residents Get Free Energy Audits

MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS 5) - Mountain View residents now have a free way to track down the energy guzzling devices and appliances in their homes.

According to the city's local non-profit group, Acterra, U.S households are full of devices that are considered "vampire" suckers, devices that use power when they aren't even in use - they include vcr's, electric garage doors, electronic chargers. In fact, Acterra said its auditors found in one home, an old stereo receiver and CD player which guzzled 18 watts of energy. Combined, both devices, even switched off, can add as much as $45-a-year to a utility bill.

Unfortunately, when it comes to going green, not everyone knows where to start. So the city of Mountain View is offering its residents some help through the Energy Upgrade program.

The program uses sophisticated software that first analyzes the resident's energy use before it recommends energy saving options.

Green@Home is one of those options. As part of the program, trained volunteers make house calls and audit the homeowners' energy usage. In one Mountain View home, auditors found that energy saving devices and habits could save the owner over $600 a year.

The no-cost home energy efficiency audits are open to all Mountain View residents paying a Pacific Gas & Electric bill with Smart Meters. PG&E no longer offers energy audits. But, low income homes that qualify are given free Weatherization service, to make homes more energy efficient.

The program is sponsored and funded by the city of Mountain View. The services are available in four other cities on the Peninsula. Those cities are Cupertino, Palo Alto, Redwood City and the Winchester neighborhood of San Jose. All residents of those communities are eligible whether they are an owner or renter living in a home, townhouse, condo, or apartment. To sign up go to and learn more at

The program will be in effect until the end of the year.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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