SOURCE: yoUtilBill

February 09, 2010 10:00 ET

yoUtilBill Launches Pioneering Service to Help Sonoma Homeowners Save up to Thousands in PG&E Bills While Reducing Carbon Footprint

Free Assessments Available Now to Qualifying Homeowners; Service Enables Smart Decision-Making Around Sonoma County Energy Independence Program

PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwire - February 9, 2010) - yoUtilBill LLC ( today announced the launch of a pioneering service in Sonoma County to help homeowners make the smartest energy-savings choices and save up to thousands of dollars on their PG&E bills. yoUtilBill's Residential Energy Management Service(SM) (REMS) provides qualifying homeowners with the only end-to-end service -- including a free home performance test -- helping them make the most sensible decisions on reducing energy consumption while minimizing out-of-pocket spending.

Determining the most effective ways to reduce home energy use and lower bills is extremely complex, requiring expertise in a wide range of areas: house and equipment energy consumption, economics, regulations, options in energy sources, government incentives and rebates, and a host of other factors. While a number of organizations offer audits, REMS provides homeowners with a one-stop-shop for evaluating their expenditures, starting with an initial, one-hour diagnostic of their home's energy consumption and detailed recommendations for balancing energy and cost savings, to assistance with filling out paperwork, and identifying and engaging local contractors. The yoUtilBill service also offers ongoing monitoring and spending management.

Customers with monthly utility bills of over $300 qualify for a free diagnostic/audit, while others with lower bills are asked to pay a nominal $200 fee. Interested homeowners should go to or call 866.558.8845 to schedule a preliminary appointment. They can also speak with a company representative at the yoUtilBill kiosk in the Santa Rosa Mall.

The company uses proprietary software -- unique in energy management -- that analyzes energy consumption and spending against alternative solutions and products to find the ideal money- and energy-saving approach for each homeowner. Significantly, yoUtilBill is working with Matt Harding, professor of economics at Stanford University, in a study to better understand consumer decision making around energy savings retrofits when customized, pertinent economic information is available.

Service Enables Homeowners to Make Most of SCEIP Financing

Many Sonoma homeowners are taking advantage of the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP), where the county finances energy-saving investments in a way that releases homeowners from remaining payments if they move to a new home. Surprisingly, many of the most popular projects -- installation of solar panels, for example -- may not make the most sense from a consumer's economic perspective, compared with the energy savings they enable. This is where the yoUtilBill expertise comes into play.

"I was able to make some very simple changes -- like replacing my pool filter pump -- and save $1,500 each year in PG&E bills," said Elena Reynoso, a homeowner in Cloverdale. "Most of the costs for my upgrades were fully covered by SCEIP, so making the recommended changes was a no-brainer. Equally as important is that the yoUtilBill team explained everything to me every step of the way, so I understood the trade-offs and was in good control of the situation."

The service makes it easy for homeowners to make wise decisions that save money and maximize the potential resale value of their home. First, a technician conducts a home diagnostic test, where the home is inspected to understand its energy-consumption economics. Next, a custom report called an Energy Action Plan is developed, detailing how energy consumption and costs can be sensibly reduced. Finally, the REMS team works with homeowners to fast-track SCEIP financing, and get the work done using their network of contractors -- with whom they have already pre-negotiated attractive rates.

Approach Geared Toward Maximizing Home Values

"We focus on what is most important to the homeowner based on economics," said Steve Malloy, yoUtilBill's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "There has been a lot of excitement around making big changes -- like installing solar panels, which is just one option and not always the wisest choice when balancing economics and energy savings. Often a simpler change -- swapping out traditional light bulbs for energy efficient ones -- can make the most dramatic differences. We help the homeowner figure out what works best for them."

Energy efficiency upgrades that have been examined and executed thoughtfully -- as with REMS -- can substantively boost home values. One study estimated property values increase at least $20,000 for each $1,000 reduction in utility spending, since buyers see that the net savings of a home's low energy consumption exceed the increase in ongoing payments. Conversely, undertaking projects without first properly running the numbers can result in lasting damage to a home's value.

About yoUtilBill

yoUtilBill is a joint venture of New Energy Investment Partners (NEIP) and Building Solutions. NEIP is an investment business focused on highly scalable and innovative business propositions in energy. Building Solutions is the leading professional home performance contractor in the US, and has a deep understanding of structural energy consumption. yoUtilBill has extensive experience in energy management, and is able to offer its unique set of services as it possesses a unique combination of skills; most saliently including know-how in structural engineering, and in energy and consumer economics acquired through thousands of household retrofits.

yoUtilBill and the yoUtilBill logo are trademarks of yoUtilBill, LLC. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Barbara Hagin
    Breakaway Communications
    Email Contact