Lamps, Portable Heaters to Be Distributed Free : Room Heaters, Lamps Offered to Poor, Elderly

The city will distribute portable electric heaters and fluorescent lamps free to low-income residents starting July 1 in a conservation program paid for by Southern California Edison Co.

The appliances will be given to qualifying families after city staff members conduct home energy audits.

Portable heaters will go only to families whose homes are dependent on electricity as the primary heating source. Dina Hunter, Edison's supervisor of conservation assistance programs, said the portable heaters can save a great deal of energy by encouraging families to heat only one room instead of an entire house. The fluorescent lamps can provide the same amount of light as standard bulbs while cutting energy use up to 75%, she said. Qualifying families may receive up to three fluorescent lamps.

Hunter said Monterey Park is one of more than a dozen cities and nonprofit agencies that will distribute heaters and lamps for Edison under contract. She said up to 4,000 heaters and 300,000 lamps will be given away.

The Monterey Park program is aimed at people who are elderly, disabled or non-English-speaking, but all must meet low-income guidelines to qualify. In addition to supplying lamps and heaters, Edison will pay Monterey Park $67,500 to conduct the program.

The Monterey Park city staff also installs weather stripping, low-flow shower heads, water heater jackets and other conservation devices either at reduced cost or free, depending on family income.

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