Friday, October 20 , 2017, 9:43 am | A Few Clouds 66º

 
 
 
 
Posted on October 12, 2017 | 4:21 p.m.

Making Home More Energy Efficient Without Breaking Bank

Source: Gina DePinto for emPower Central Coast

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 www.emPowerSBC.org/50HC 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.

 
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