Community Development DepartmentPlanning
 

Resources for Residents

There are a number of ways you can help reduce the impact you have on the environment by rethinking how you use resources in your home, when you’re on-the-go, and when you shop. In addition to reducing your environmental impact, these tips can save you money on your utility bills, increase your property values, and increase the overall health of your home and our community.
  

At Home

Get a free home energy consultation.

As part of The Capacity Project, WattzOn provides Livermore residents with a free home energy consultation in person or over the phone that can help save 10-20% on monthly home energy bills.

Also check out the Energy Upgrade California - Alameda County website for more ways to upgrade your home with the help of rebates.

Ask your utility company if they offer renewable energy and energy rebates.

Around 50 percent of the energy currently provided by PG&E is made up of renewable or clean sources. They recently submitted a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission for a Green Option program that expands the use of solar energy. They expect the program to be available in 2014.

Use PG&E’s interactive Home Money Saver tool to find rebates and energy saving tips for your home.

Install solar panels on your roof.

The Go Solar California website provides California consumers a "one-stop shop" for information on solar programs, rebates, tax credits, and information on installing and interconnecting solar electric and solar thermal systems.

Unplug small electric appliances when not in use.

Appliances like cell phone chargers, hair driers, electric toothbrushes, oscillating fans, and lamps still consume energy while plugged in even if they are turned off.

Switch to compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs).

CFLs use less energy, will save you money on your electricity bills, and last much longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

Adjust your thermostat.

Making even small changes to the temperature in your home can save a significant amount of energy and money on your energy bill. A programmable thermostat makes adjusting your thermostat convenient and efficient.

Use “green” building practices if you’re building a new home or remodeling.

Build It Green is a membership-supported Bay Area nonprofit whose mission is to promote healthy, energy- and resource-efficient building practices in California.

Add insulation and energy-efficient windows to your home.

Proper insulation will reduce heating and cooling costs in your home. You can also reduce energy costs by installing energy-efficient windows in your home. Tax credits are available for windows and doors that are Energy Star qualified. If you are on a tight budget, energy efficiency improvements to existing windows can also help reduce your heating and cooling costs.

Look for the Energy Star logo when buying an appliance.

Earning the Energy Star means the product meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. These products will help you reduce your energy-use and save money on your utility bills.

Buy other “green” products.

Consumer Reports offers an accessible, reliable, and practical source of information on buying “greener” products that have minimal environmental impact. Visit their website GreenerChoices.org.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Reducing, reusing, and recycling will decrease energy use and the amount of waste ending up in landfills. The new Livermore Recycles program is a user-friendly resource developed through a partnership between the City of Livermore and Livermore Sanitation for residents and businesses to learn about Livermore's cutting edge waste reduction programs such as city-wide recycling and composting.

Conserve water.

In addition to reducing water consumption, conserving water reduces the energy you use to pump and heat your water. Livermore's Water Resources department provides a variety of tips for reducing water consumption in your home.

Reduce your paper waste.

Use online banking, print double-sided, and stop receiving junk mail to reduce your paper waste.

Use environmentally friendly or homemade cleaning products.

Check out the EPA's fact sheet for choosing safer cleaning products for your home.

Alameda County provides recipes for homemade, safe cleaning products.

Properly dispose of hazardous materials.

The Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Facility located in Livermore will take and safely dispose of hazardous materials for residents and small businesses. Click here to learn more about what materials qualify.

Green Products

The Green Product Directory is a local, unbiased resource of green home improvement products and tips that will save you money; and make your home more beautiful, healthy, and comfortable. 
           

On-the-Go

When you Shop

Shop at local farmers' markets or stores that sell locally grown food.

Livermore has two farmers' markets, one year-round and the other during the summer, where residents can buy locally grown and organic produce, enjoy live music, and taste local wine.

Use mass transit when possible.

511 provides comprehensive, accurate, and reliable multimodal travel information to meet the needs of Bay Area travelers.

Walk or bike when you can for local trips.

Click here for a map of Livermore bike lanes and trails.

Carpool or use a car sharing program.

511 also provides rideshare resources.

Drive an environmentally friendly vehicle.

The EPA's Green Vehicle Guide can help you find a vehicle that is more environmentally friendly (i.e. one with high fuel economy).

Take care of your car.

Taking measures like maintaining proper air pressure in your tires, following the maintenance schedule recommended in your owner’s manual, using the recommended grade of motor oil, and replacing clogged air filters on older vehicles can increase the efficiency of your car. For more ideas click here.

Request an eco-friendly car when you rent.

Many car rental companies have added hybrid and electric vehicles to their fleets.

Drive more efficiently.

Making adjustments to the way you drive, like avoiding hard accelerations, using cruise control, removing excess weight from your car, reducing idling, and observing the speed limit can reduce your fuel use. For more ideas click here.

Does your car use renewable fuel?

Find an alternative fueling station near you! 

To find electric vehicle charging stations click here. You can also download a charging station locator application for free on your smartphone.

Check out Local Harvest and California Certified Farmers’ Markets to find other stores and markets near you.

Purchase food that is minimally processed and packaged.

Packaging is attributed with generating large amounts of waste and consuming valuable resources. Consider purchasing products with reduced or recycled packaging.

Grow your own food.

The Bay-Friendly Gardening program provides resources and information to help residents make environmentally friendly gardening choices. Bay-Friendly Gardeners work with nature to reduce waste and protect the watersheds of the San Francisco Bay.

Bring reusable grocery bags.

Beginning January 1, 2013 with the Reusable Bag Ordinance, stores in Alameda County that sell packaged foods stopped providing customers with single-use plastic bags upon checkout. Bags made of recycled paper or reusable bags are available for a minimum of 10 cents per bag. Save money and help the environment by bringing your own reusable bags.

Shop at green businesses.

Both the region and state recognize and assist businesses that operate in an environmentally friendly manner.


 
             
                sustainablelivermore@cityoflivermore.net