U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Weatherization & Intergovernmental Program
Home Performance Program - A Recovery Act funded Energy Efficiency Activity for Sacramento Area residents
June 24, 2010
SMUD to Subsidize Energy Audits and Upgrades at 15,150 Area Homes
The Sacramento Bee
June 24, 2010
By Mark Glover
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is poised to implement a package promising jobs, home improvements, energy savings and cleaner air for the Sacramento area.
The California Energy Commission on Wednesday approved nearly $20 million for SMUD to administer energy upgrades to the region's residential customers.
Energy Commission spokeswoman Susanne Garfield said all that remains is the signing of contracts and a green light from the state Department of General Services.
"If everything goes as expected, SMUD could be running with the program by mid-July," Garfield said.
The funding comes from the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act. California received $226 million of $3.1 billion distributed through the federal program.
Under SMUD's program – tentatively called the Home Performance Program – the utility plans to make available Home Energy Rating System audits and energy upgrades to 15,150 homes in the Sacramento area, including the cities of Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom and Galt.
The residential retrofit program is expected to provide more than 1,100 jobs, save 22,000 megawatt hours of energy (enough to power about 2,500 homes for a year) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 16,756 tons annually.
Under the program, SMUD will oversee the work of approved contractors and submit invoices to the state for processing.
Ali Crawford, project manager for SMUD, noted that most of the funds will be used for customer rebates.
"Bringing this money into our economy was really important," she said.
SMUD also will work with the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency and Los Rios Community College District to develop a "green work force training" partnership for contractors and energy auditors.
The Energy Commission said the Home Performance Program is leveraging the $19.9 million in federal stimulus funds with an anticipated $69 million in public and private funds, including utility incentives.
Crawford said energy improvements to area homes will run the gamut: solar power, insulation, duct work, air sealing, hot water heater improvements, air conditioning, thermal barriers, cool roofs and whole house fans.
Crawford anticipates job demand for numerous contractors and retrofitters, energy auditors and rebate processors.
Energy commission Chairwoman Karen Douglas noted: "These energy-efficient retrofits will offer significant and permanent energy savings for Sacramento households that will put more money in homeowners' pockets and have long-term economic benefits for the region."
SMUD's program was one of a dozen selected from more than 100 proposals submitted to the State Energy Program. The utility said it is partnering with 14 public and private organizations and jurisdictions to implement its program.
To view this article on the Sacremento Bee website, click here.