The fourth annual Green Business Energy Efficiency Forum, featuring programs and incentives for businesses and homes to become more energy efficient and embrace sustainability, will take place Wednesday, July 23 at the Elks Lodge at 1309 N. Bradley Road in Santa Maria.

Electric cars and hybrids will be on display, as well as literature and information from utility companies, businesses and organizations, all with a focus on energy efficiency and sustainability.

The lineup of speakers includes Rebecca Weber from PG&E, Alma Briseno from Southern California Gas Company, Frances Gilliland from the Santa Barbara County Green Business Program, Angie Hacker from the emPowerSBC program and Kent Epperson from SBCAG Traffic Solutions. Also speaking will be Dawn Legg from First Solar, who will be reviewing  the proposed 327-acre Cuyama Valley Solar project, which would generate power for 13,000 homes, and Heather Gray, from Gray Electrical Consulting and Engineering, who will be discussing new efficiency standards in future developments.

There is no cost to attend the event, and it is open to everyone. A raffle drawing will take place for a 32-inch HD Energy Star rated television.

Set up and networking will begin at 8:30 a.m. The program presentations are from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The displays, hybrids and electric vehicles will be available for viewing until 1 p.m.

The program is sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Energy Watch Partnership, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Commission. The Chamber of Commerce is the administrator for the Energy Watch Partnership Program.

“Businesses, homeowners and interested community members will all appreciate the information that will be featured at the forum,” said Glenn Morris, president and CEO of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce. “This is an open opportunity for the community to become more informed about energy efficiency and sustainability.”

Besides conserving energy and helping the environment, business operators and homeowners can usually find noticeable savings on monthly energy bills.

“We want to get them connected with all of the rebates, upgrades and incentives that they can qualify for,” said Dave Cross, director of the Economic Development Commission. “Businesses, for example, can save an average of $1,600 or more per year by applying simple energy saving measures and upgrades. That is money that can be put right back into their company.”

For more information, contact Cross at 805.925.2403 x817 or

— Dave Cross is director of the Santa Maria Economic Development Commission.