Energy Upgrade California offers cash for home conservation.
March 18, 2011
The new state program - which allows the California Energy Commission to make use of about $30 million in stimulus funding that had been earmarked to its doomed predecessor - offers homeowners up to $4,000 in rebates and other incentives to make energy efficiency improvements.
For example, in Monterey County, a "Basic Upgrade Package" offers up to $1,000 for air and duct sealing, attic and pipe insulation, a thermostatic shut-off valve, appliance safety testing and a low-flow showerhead.
While the program is a nice carrot for reducing energy use, it isn't the leap forward in small-scale renewable energy production that its facilitator, Santa Cruz-based Ecology Action, originally envisioned.
CaliforniaFIRST was designed to incentivize rooftop solar panels by allowing homeowners to pay for them over time as a property tax line item - a plan the mortgage giants nixed. Energy Upgrade California focuses instead on reducing home energy consumption by tightening efficiency.