Want to reduce your electric or heating bills? Want to get leaks plugged around the house that let the heat out and the cold air in during the winter? Want your home to become more “green” so you can save some green?
Residents seeking to make their homes more energy efficient, and contractors interested in building expertise and joining a statewide program to bring energy-saving projects to homes, are invited to attend one of several upcoming workshops to learn about options for home improvements and rebates for boosting home energy efficiency.
The workshops are hosted by Energy Upgrade California — a partnership between California counties, cities, nonprofits, the state Public Utilities Commission, the state Energy Commission and California’s utilities (Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric Company).
Funding for the effort comes from federal stimulus funds, utility ratepayers and private contributions.
Utility companies will give rebates of up to $4,000 to homeowners who sign on for energy-efficient upgrades, depending on the level of increased energy savings achieved.
Four local workshops are planned in Southwest Riverside County. They are free and open to the public:
- Temecula: Thursday, Nov. 8, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Temecula Public Library, Community Room B, 30600 Pauba Rd.
- Murrieta: Friday, Nov. 16, 12:30- 2 p.m. at the Murrieta Public Library, 24700 Adams Ave. This workshop is primarily geared toward contractors who want to learn how to participate. Homeowners may attend as well.
- Palm Desert: Weds. Dec. 5, 6:30- 8 p.m. at the Portola Community Center, 45480 Portola Ave.
- Lake Elsinore: Tues. Dec. 18, 1-3 p.m. at the Altha Merrifield Memorial Library, 600 West Graham Ave. This workshop is mainly for contractors.
The goal is to increase energy efficiency in all California homes, as spelled out by Senate Bill 758, which seeks to boost efficiency in existing California homes by 40 percent by 2020, said Colin Clark, a program development manager for Ecology Action, a Santa Cruz-based nonprofit working to promote the program.
The workshops also provide a networking opportunity for contractors and homeowners to share information and learn how to work on green improvements.
Home improvements people might consider include adding attic insulation, wall insulation, increasing efficiency of the heating or air conditioning systems, sealing ducts to prevent air leaks, and installing double-pane windows.
A homeowner’s first step is to have an energy efficiency assessment taken of the home to see where weak points are and what can be improved in an effort to look at the entire house.
A report and an estimate of energy savings is provided to the homeowner, Clark said.
Staff from Ecology Action, participating contractors and financial officials will be present at the workshops to discuss the program, possible home improvements and financing options, Clark said. Realtors also are welcome to attend.
For more information, visit www.energyupgradeca.org or call Frank Henry at 559- 801-6518.
Amy Bentley is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.