I’m often asked for simple money-saving tips that can also help families live “greener.”  Well, here are 3 easy tips that could save a family of 4 almost $6,500 a year.


Kill Phantom Loads: many appliances draw energy even when they are off (this is called a "phantom load") and the only way to ensure they aren’t drawing energy is to unplug them or buy a device like a Smart Strip (~$35.)  Smart Strips sense when you’ve turned an electronic device off and cuts the phantom load for you.  Phantom loads can account for as much as 13% of a household energy bill!  According to the Alliance to Save Energy the average American household spends about $1,400 a year on energy bills (which seems low to me.)  So you could save $182+ a year with this simple tip.


Shop local.  One estimate states that the average American meal travels 1,500 miles to get to your table which accounts for a lot of gasoline use and carbon dioxide creation.  When you shop at a farmer’s market you are ensuring that your food is coming from a local supplier.  Plus, when you buy from the farmer, you know the person.  They are not a faceless company that you can’t hold accountable.  When I get dry apples from my apple farmer, the next week he makes up for it!  Plus, it’s MUCH cheaper than buying in a store.  I like to use organic lemons as my benchmark.  At the farmer’s market I pay from 25 – 50 cents per lemon (depending on the season.)  At a store they will be anywhere from $1.00 – $1.50 each.  From personal experience, I’ve cut my produce bill by 30-40% by shopping at a farmer’s market.  That’s about $2,080 in savings annually for my household of 2-people.


– Go waste free for lunch.  Which is just another way of saying “use a lunchbox!”  A stainless steel water bottle starts at about $15.  A plastic bottle of water costs about $1.  So the stainless steel bottle pays for itself in about 2-weeks.  So in a year you will save yourself at least $235 just with that one change.  Switch to reusable lunch bags, sandwich wrappers and containers and you can save yourself as much as $2.07 per lunch or $517 per person, per year (50-weeks x 5 days a week with $1 water and $1.07 in packaging.)








LADWP to Hold Public Workshop on Budget, Budget Cuts and Rates

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will hold a community meeting regarding the current fiscal year budget, recently enacted budget cuts, and rates on Saturday, January 30, 2010, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the LADWP John Ferraro Building in Downtown Los Angeles (map.)  The meeting will feature a presentation on the current fiscal year’s budget, a discussion of the Department’s efforts to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels by increasing the use of renewable energy and a question and answer period with LADWP Interim General Manager S. David Freeman.

The meeting will provide customers with a forum to learn about the budget and its challenges, ask questions and provide input directly to LADWP management.

Although not required, if you know you will attend, please RSVP here or by logging onto www.ladwpnews.com and selecting "Budget Workshop RSVP" under Contact Us > Forms.


S. David Freeman, LADWP Interim General Manager
LADWP Budget Managers


LADWP Public Workshop on Budget, Budget Cuts and Rates


Saturday, January 30, 2010, at 10:00 a.m.                            


LADWP John Ferraro Building 
Cafeteria Conference Center (A-Level)
111 N. Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Free parking is available in the LADWP Customer Parking Lot adjacent to the John Ferraro Building.