Saturday, April 30 , 2016, 9:30 am | A Few Clouds 59º

Homeowners Invited to Free Energy Workshop, BBQ in Santa Ynez and Carpinteria

Learn how to make your tax refund pay off for years to come with energy-smart home improvements

By Stacy Miller for Santa Barbara County's emPowerSBC |

Looking for a smart way to put your tax refund check to work for you? Consider using it to make home energy upgrades. This year’s average federal tax refund will be around $3,000. Using all or a portion of your refund to make energy improvements can help significantly lower your utility bills and make your home more comfortable year-round.

Homeowners seeking to learn more about home energy upgrades and how to get started will welcome a new Santa Barbara County program aimed at helping them add energy-smart upgrades to their homes, and even go solar. The emPowerSBC program combines low-cost local financing with big utility rebates to make upgrade projects more affordable than ever.

The home performance industry is gaining traction, and emPowerSBC has become a critical element in helping grow the local upgrade market to support more green jobs in Santa Barbara County. Every upgrade completed helps create local jobs and improve the environment.

Free workshops and community barbecues will be held at the following two locations:

» 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26 in the Solvang Veterans’ Memorial Building, 1745 Mission Drive in Solvang; click here to RSVP

» 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 in Carpinteria City Hall/Council Chambers, 5775 Carpinteria Ave. in Carpinteria; click here to RSVP

For more information, call 805.568.3566.

Event attendees will have an opportunity to:

» Learn about high dollar rebates and other incentives for home energy projects.

» Access low-cost financing offered by local lending partners CoastHills Federal Credit Union and Ventura County Credit Union.

» Meet program representatives and local qualified contractors.

» Lucky guests will receive great prizes.

— Stacy Miller is a communication and marketing consultant for Santa Barbara County’s emPowerSBC program.

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