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Every day, more than 300,000 motorists pass by the electronic sign alongside Interstate 110 that announces coming events at the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Sports Arena — the venue listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks and the only stadium to host two Olympic Games (1932 and 1984), two Super Bowls (including the first, in 1967), a World Series and a host of major concerts as well as mass political and religious events.

Pervaiz Lodhie was one of those motorists some months ago, driving up the Harbor Freeway, just south of downtown Los Angeles. “This is an iconic marquee on a key north-south transportation corridor that connects Los Angeles’ central business district and the Port of Los Angeles,” remarks Mr. Lodhie. “And yet, since the last Olympics, I’ve seen the sign deteriorate in light quality, consistency and brightness.”

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Obama: Give homeowners rebates for energy savings

by Kim McAdams on March 13, 2010

President Barack Obama on Tuesday unveiled details of a proposal that would give rebates at the cash register to people who want to make their homes more energy-efficient.

A homeowner who buys materials to save energy — better windows or insulation, for example — would get 50 percent of the cost back, up to $1,500 for a $3,000 purchase. Those who hire experts to check their entire houses for energy-saving improvements and do major makeovers could qualify for rebates of up to $3,000.

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If you’re a Minnesota customer of Xcel Energy, take note: The utility is handing out even bigger financial incentives for making energy-efficiency upgrades in 2010.

Xcel Energy, a large electric and gas utility serving Minnesota, just rolled out greatly enhanced rebate programs for the state’s residential and business customers in 2010. For many types of energy-efficiency upgrades, Xcel Energy customers will be able to pocket a lot more money in 2010 compared with previous years. It’s also introducing rebates for certain types of upgrades that didn’t exist before, such as installing an exit sign illuminated by light-emitting crystals (“LEC”).

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Energy efficiency to shine in 2010

Hoping to capitalize on the success of the federal government’s Energy Star label for appliances, the White House and business officials are pushing a new program dubbed “Home Star,” which would give property owners rebates and other incentives to weatherize their homes and make other improvements to cut their energy use. Home Star is expected to be part of a broad jobs bill Congress is preparing to unveil in the coming weeks.

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