Thursday, December 14 , 2017, 11:30 pm | Smoke 41º


Making Home More Energy Efficient Without Breaking Bank

Solvang residents may be able to take advantage of free home-energy assessments, group discounts, cash rebates and low-interest financing for home energy-efficiency upgrades as part of the 50 Home Challenge.

The 50 Home Challenge is a joint initiative of the Santa Barbara County’s emPower Central Coast program and the nonprofit CHERP (Community Home Energy Retrofit Project) aimed at engaging an entire community and retrofitting 50 single-family homes to make them more energy efficient.

The 50 Home Challenge community kickoff event begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Solvang City Hall, 1644 Oak St. To RSVP, visit or call 568-3556.

Attendees will learn about resources made available by the challenge and benefits from making energy improvements, such as upgrading a home’s insulation, furnace, air conditioner and installing solar.

County Supervisor Joan Hartmann and Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson will attend to help launch the initiative.

“Buildings are among the biggest consumers of energy in the country, with the residential sector accounting for about 36 percent of the electricity used in Solvang,” said Hartmann, 3rd Dist. supervisor.

“The 50 Home Challenge is a way to make a notable impact on reducing energy use, while also creating more comfortable and healthier living spaces for homeowners,” she said.

The event offers participants an opportunity to sign up for a home-energy assessment with an emPower Energy Coach and receive a detailed report on their home energy use. Attendees also can enter for a chance to win a Nest Learning Thermostat.

California Tacos will be on hand with their food truck serving complimentary tacos.

“We’re hoping that Solvang is just the beginning and we’ll be able to hold the 50 Home Challenge in as many communities in Santa Barbara County as possible,” said Devon Hartman, CHERP’s executive director.

“We want everyone to know that their decisions at home have real global impacts, and those can be positive impacts,” Hartman said.

The emPower program was established by the Santa Barbara County to offer incentives, financing and free technical advice to help single-family homeowners make home-energy upgrades easier and more affordable. 

CHERP is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization created to eliminate barriers to the success of critical, national energy-efficiency goals.

— Gina DePinto for emPower Central Coast.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Dianne and Brianna Johnson
"We are committed to making our clients feel special by providing the concierge level service they deserve."

Full Profile >