Monday, February 27 , 2017, 2:57 pm | Partly Cloudy 55º


emPower Central Coast Celebrates Program Expansion with Kickoff Event

The County of Santa Barbara recently held a press briefing to discuss enhancements to its emPower energy efficiency program.

The briefing addressed details on expansion to San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, enhanced program services for homeowners and future goals for emPower's growth throughout the Tri-Counties.

emPower's goal is to help homeowners and contractors overcome obstacles to implement home energy improvements. Additionally, the organization aims to support job growth in the local residential construction industry throughout the Tri-County region.

"We have a great deal to look forward to with the Tri-County expansion," county Supervisor Janet Wolf said. "Not only do we have a more robust team to bring services to more residents, but we have worked hard to make program improvements that will make it easier and more affordable than ever to upgrade old equipment and save energy."

The expansion of emPower Central Coast is possible through new external funding that aimed to deliver the program's innovative program offerings to new neighboring communities to help meet statewide energy efficiency objectives. Now Ventura and San Luis Obispo County single family homeowners will be able to take advantage of low-cost unsecured loans offered by local credit unions, high dollar rebates, qualified local contractors, extensive community education, and free energy coach advising and home evaluations.

At the event, emPower announced new program improvements, including more attractive features to the emPower Home Upgrade Loan, increased utility incentives up to $6,500, and new upgrade options that make it easier than ever for customers to choose the right energy improvements for their needs.

"The families living in the homes with energy improvements are experiencing lower utility bills, and better comfort, durability, safety and property value," county Supervisor Salud Carbajal said. "Every home upgrade project supported by emPower also brings valuable stimulus to our local economy by creating jobs for contractors and encouraging the expansion of green building businesses."

Since its inception, emPower's outreach efforts have led to 4,500 interested individuals to engage with the program resulting in nearly 100 completed projects, home energy activity in close to 400 homes, and vital boosts to the local economy through the participation of local contractors and credit unions. emPower envisions that the broader service area and new offerings will bring substantially higher rates of participation and success.

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing emPower Central Coast.

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