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Sunday, November 18 , 2018, 9:58 am | Fair with Haze 60º


Home Challenge Energy Champions Recognized

The first 50 Home Challenge — Solvang participants to complete extensive home energy efficiency projects recently celebrated the milestone with city and county officials during a recent City Council meeting at Solvang City Hall.

Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson and Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann presented plaques to homeowners Peter and Jutta Aichinger, and Meagan and Eric Tambini recognizing their commitment to energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

“The Aichgers, Tambinis and other homeowners have shown great leadership in changing the way their homes use energy,” said Marisa Hanson, emPower Central Coast program specialist.

“Energy efficiency and building technology have come a long way since many of Santa Barbara County’s homes were built. Making energy efficiency improvements not only uses our resources more wisely, it creates more comfortable living spaces,” she said.

Soon after moving in, the Aichingers found the outdated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system kept their new home less than comfortable.

The 50 Home Challenge retrofit included replacing insulation and ventilation, changing extreme heat up and cool down to a more gradual, comfortable and energy-efficient experience.

Peter Aichinger said the changes have made the home more livable, and the energy conservation benefits are also important to his family.

The Aichingers and Tambinis worked with an emPower Energy Coach to identify some common, energy-efficiency issues in their homes, such as outdated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, insufficient insulation, and numerous cracks and gaps.

The emPower program connected them with qualified local contractors and available rebates that saved them thousands of dollars on their retrofits.
The 50 Home Challenge is a joint initiative of Santa Barbara County’s emPower Central Coast program and the nonprofit CHERP (Community Home Energy Retrofit Project) to engage an entire community and retrofit 50 single-family homes to make them more energy efficient.

For more information or to schedule a home consultation with an emPower Energy Coach, visit www.empowersbc.org.

— Sheridan Taphorn for emPower.

From left, Devon Hartman, CHERP; Meagan and Eric Tambini; Jutta and Peter Aichinger; and Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann


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