The Cost of Heat in SoCal

A $50,000 electric bill? The cost of cooling L.A.’s biggest houses in a heat wave that stretched far into November.

A $50,000 electric bill? The cost of cooling L.A.’s biggest houses in a heat wave that stretched far into November.

A $50,000 electric bill? The cost of cooling L.A.’s biggest houses in a heat wave that stretched far into November.

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The average Aptos home went more than two weeks without being cooled or heated this summer.

“We’re not the only ones living in pain,” writes Jennifer Johnson of the Aptos Fire Department in this week’s issue of Real Estate. “People are suffering,” she added.

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She makes the case for energy efficiency by pointing to research by the Department of Energy and other energy agencies that shows that a 10 percent improvement in home energy efficiency can save $1,500 per year in energy costs.

And then, the question: Is it possible to do that in SoCal?

A number of the region’s biggest-ticket buyers – homes and condominiums in L.A. County listed at $150 million or higher – bought their homes with a $50,000-plus loan, sometimes closing with a $1 million loan at the same time.

In other words, buyers have been getting a bargain.

A number of the region’s biggest-ticket buyers – homes and condominiums in L.A. County listed at $150 million or higher – bought their homes with a $50,000-plus loan, sometimes closing with a $1 million loan at the same time. In other words, buyers have been getting a bargain.

How many other homes made such moves in a hot market is unclear, but if they occur frequently enough, that may help explain the high cost of heat, says Steve Wulff, executive director of the California Building Industry Association.

“We are talking about people who bought, or were thinking about buying a lot, and they came to this place and thought, ‘This is the place I want to be here,’ ” he says. “When they moved, they put their money on the line that they would live well and afford to live well,

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