Get Your Home Ready for Colder, Wetter Weather with Energy Upgrade CA

by arlene on October 8, 2011

Indian Summer here in the Bay Area is such a beautiful time of year that it may be hard to get motivated to prepare for the colder weather ahead. But those early rains should have given us a reminder that we need to be sure our homes are ready for the winter weather. Some basic tasks should be accomplished every year; you know you should sweep the roof and clean out those gutters! But this year I urge you to take advantage of a special rebate program available in Northern California. A unique partnership of PG&E, and local and federal stimulus money, Energy Upgrade California is a program you should explore if you are experiencing any of these issues:

  • drafty rooms
  • rooms that just won’t heat up in winter
  • cold floors
  • rooms that are too hot in summer
  • high utility bills
  • musty smells

Most of our homes are older, with single-paned windows. I’ve recently received ads from several companies urging me to replace my old windows with new ones this winter. I may replace a few windows that are broken, especially in rooms where an extra pane would help abate noise. But before you go to the expense of window replacement, consider having a building performance professional look at your home as a unified system. Sealing building leaks, leaking or cracked heater ducts and improving insulation and circulation may be a better choice.

Did you know. . .

· The average home loses approximately 30-40% of their energy through leaks in the home
· Indoor air quality is 2-5 times worse than outdoor air quality according to the EPA
· You can potentially receive more than $4,000 in rebates and low interest financing from Energy Upgrade California

Right now, EUCA provides rebates of $1,000 for completing some basic energy improvement steps, and up to $4,000 for more advanced measures, based on measured improvements in performance.

You’ll need to chose a building contractor from an approved list on the website, have a home performance evaluation, and then choose from a prioritized plan which improvements make most sense for you to make. Some cities, including El Cerrito, are adding an additional incentive by providing a rebate for the cost of the evaluation. That makes pursuing this program a win-win-win: for you, your home and the environment!

This video from the EPA & Dept. of Energy will give you details about what to expect in the home performance evaluation. It really is possible to improve the overall comfort of your home, regardless of its age. And with rebate money available, this is a great time to get more comfortable!



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