Monday, November 12 , 2018, 10:09 am | Smoke 68º


Keep Home Cozy as Colder Temps Creep In

County program works with residents on energy, safety upgrades.

Third District County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, center, with local home-efficiency experts.
Third District County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, center, with local home-efficiency experts. (Santa Barbara County emPower Central Coast)

Do you need help paying your utility bills and reducing your energy demand? Does your home need improvements to keep you warm and comfortable this winter?

If so, a countywide program can help qualified renters and owners with free energy upgrades and utility-payment assistance.

The Community Action Commission (CAC) Energy Services Program last year helped almost 1,800 families pay their utility bills, provided health and safety energy assessments and upgrades for 1,427 homes, and replaced 74 unsafe appliances.

In 2016, retired veteran Rodolfo Galvan sought assistance from the program. During his home assessment an undetected gas leak was found and the unsafe appliance was replaced.

“I could not be happier with the work and professionalism of CAC,” said Galvan. “This winter has been so much warmer.”

A variety of services are available through the Energy Services Program. It offers water conservation emergency appliance repair and replacements, lighting upgrades, window and door repairs, and other conservation measures.

Future funding of these programs is uncertain.

“Cuts to this program would mean families could have to choose between buying food and paying utilities," according to Kemba Lawrence, Energy Services program manager. "This program really helps families bridge the gap to self-sufficiency.”

Oct. 30 is National Weatherization Day. For more information or to learn whether you qualify, dial 2-1-1, or email [email protected] dial 2-1-1. CAC has offices in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Goleta.

CAC is a private nonprofit that leverages support for Santa Barbara County families through government contracts, grants and private funding. For more information,

— Judith Monte for Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County.


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