SAN LUIS OBISPO - A Central Coast College is starting to save a lot of energy, and it's getting thousands of dollars in rebates by doing something you can do in your own home.
It all stemmed from Terry Reece's day-to-day tasks, fixing and repairing Cuesta College's Heating, Ventilating, and Air-conditioning, or H-VAC, system.
As the campus Maintenance, Operations, and Grounds Director, it began to cost him manpower.
Reece says it was tedious:"Picture you come home, and your house is freezing cold, and you have to turn on the heat. After you turn on the heat and it gets too hot, then you have to turn it down. Well, picture doing that all day, everyday."
Then came a timely opportunity.
Reece applied for State and District-matched money, in order to install an environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient H-VAC system.
The new system is up and running at the high-traffic Cuesta College Library Building, where a nearly 40-year-old system once stood.
Reece explains getting rid of the old air system already is making a huge difference in efficiency.
Reece says, "They compared it to 32 1960's cars. 32 of those taken off the road in efficiency."
Cuesta Officials say they did the upgrade for two reasons: Dr. Gilbert Stork, Cuesta College President, says, "Number one, to really address the sustainability issue about energy in general, but also to bring this campus into a modern era of being more conservative and more efficient with energy."
And they may have done it for a third reason-- an immediate pay-back.
Just last week, Cuesta received a rebate check of nearly $60,000 combined from PG&E and SoCal Gas.
While residential PG&E and SoCal Gas customers shouldn't expect to see such a hefty rebate in their mailbox anytime soon, there are things you can do on a daily basis to minimize your monthly bills.
Kory Raftery, Spokesman for PG&E offers some tips for homeowners: "Cuesta made a big change, at home you can make small changes to make a big difference. You can change just your lighting, you can look at your insulation."