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Angel Pacheco/Juliana Minsky (805) 687-3322

Central Coast, CA, Dec. 17, 2015 – It’s that time of year again to grab some eggnog and relax with friends and family as the year winds to a close. And luckily, making that extra effort to continue doing something good for the environment doesn’t mean you have to be a Grinch. Here are five tips to make this one jolly and green holiday season.

Light up the candles - Create festive warmth in the room with candles that will add a warm glow at your next gathering. Even better are LED candles, which last much longer than their wax counterparts that need to be frequently replaced.

Use LED Christmas lights - It’s time to ditch the tangled incandescent lights you’ve been pulling out of the garage for years. LED holiday strands use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional bulbs. That’s a ton of savings, and their glow is just as beautiful!

Branch out - Reduce waste and recycle your tree after the holidays to a nearby center in your community that can repurpose it for mulch.

Lower the thermostat - With so many guests over and a commotion going on in the kitchen, the room is bound to get warmer. Save up and lower the thermostat a notch to compensate.

Unplug electronic devices before you leave for vacation - Many appliances such as TVs, computers and printers use energy even when they are turned off. Unplug these before you take off and save on energy and your bills.

About emPower Central Coast

The emPower program offers voluntary incentives, financing and other services to help single-family homeowners in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties make home energy upgrades easier and more affordable. emPower was originally established by Santa Barbara County to help the community preserve the environment by helping to lower energy consumption and stimulate the economy by creating jobs through innovative, voluntary solutions to support a sustainable building performance market.

emPower is funded by California utility ratepayers and administered by Southern California Gas Company, Southern California Edison Company and Pacific Gas and Electric under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. emPower is also funded by the US Department of Energy Better Buildings program and the California Energy Commission with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars. emPower’s low cost financing is offered in partnership with Coast Hills Federal Credit Union and Ventura County Credit Union. More information at www.empowersbc.org.