County of Marin - News Releases - Home Energy Usage

For Immediate Release
August 27, 2020

No-Cost Supplies Help Residents Cut Energy Usage

Fill out an online survey and receive mailed kit from Green House Call program

San Rafael, CA – Marin County residents wary of rotating power outages have a chance to reduce demand on the electrical grid by obtaining no-cost supplies to do it.

A woman opens a box of electrical supplies.Rising Sun's kits are available to homeowners and renters living in single-family homes, duplexes, and fourplexes.
The Rising Sun Center for Opportunity’s Green House Call program has operated in Marin since 2006 and has served more than 6,800 Marin homes. Rising Sun delivers no-cost supplies such as LED light bulbs, smart power strips, low-flow shower heads, and faucet aerators. The kit is available to homeowners and renters living in single-family homes, duplexes, and fourplexes. The kits are only available to residents who have not already received the service within the past five years.

In the past, the program – funded through ratepayer utility bills – has employed local college and high school-aged youths to conduct home energy audits and install energy saving devices. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has adapted by having residents complete an online energy and water use survey, and Rising Sun then mails an energy-saving kit directly to the recipient. Residents may also get started by calling (510) 665-1501 ext. 300.

The program is endorsed and supported by the Marin County Community Development Agency’s Sustainability Team, which offers several energy reduction tools to residents. The Rising Sun Center for Opportunity is partly funded by the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN), of which Marin County is a participating member.

Over the past month, extreme heat in the western United States has increased electricity demand and placed a strain on the power grid. If the California Independent Systems Operator (CASIO) determines that the state does not have enough resources to meet demand, it may require the state’s investor-owned utilities, such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), to reduce demand on the grid by turning off customer power. Such rolling blackouts typically are instigated during periods of widespread triple-digit temperatures.

In addition to Rising Sun’s energy kit offer, Marin residents can do their part to reduce grid demand during heat waves. When temperatures rise, they can cut power usage between peak hours of 3-10 p.m. by:

  • keeping lights off to the extent safely possible
  • setting thermostat to 78 degrees or higher
  • charging cell phones and laptops before 2 p.m. and after 9 p.m.
  • unplugging energy “vampires” when not in use, such as television sets, game consoles, coffee makers, and other appliances only used occasionally
  • using fans instead of air conditioning.

The Marin County Sustainability Team supports healthy, safe, and sustainable communities while preserving Marin’s unique environmental heritage. The team has developed programs to promote renewable energy, address climate change, encourage green building, recognize green businesses,  and implement energy efficiency projects in County schools, special districts and cities and towns. The policies and programs ensure that the County of Marin is healthy, vibrant, and sustainable for many generations into the future.


Kellen Dammann
Sustainability Team Technician
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-2698
Email: Kellen Dammann
CDA Sustainability website