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OwnerJuly 2015 to presentEl Cerrito

Finding best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow: energy efficiency, demand response,, solar, wind, electric vehicles, biofuels and smart grid. It’s all the innovations that make the energy we use more secure, clean, and affordable. The energy world's best hopes lie in what's happening in the digital realm, especially in data analytics.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Energy Upgrade California

Sustainably grown food can be expensive, but people buy it because it's better for the environment and better for health. Perhaps it's time to start thinking about energy efficiency in the same away.

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Back to Energy Efficiency Index
1. Background

2. Acronyms/Definitions
3. Business Case
4. Benefits
5. Risks/Issues
6. Success Criteria
7. Case Studies
8. Companies/Organizations
9. Links

1.Background
  • Energy Upgrade California, a state program, gives homeowners between $1,000 and $4,500 for permanent home upgrades, that improve energy efficiency. Ratepayers fund the program via a tax on their energy bill.

2. Acronyms/Definitions
  1. Home Upgrade Program - Based on a point system.   Each upgrade is given a certain number of points and the total rebate amount is based on how many points you accumulate. 
  2. Advanced Home Upgrade Program - The latter option offers a rebate based on the total energy consumption of your home after the various upgrades have been completed. It requires an energy assessment test.

3. Business Case
  • The Energy Upgrade processbegins with an audit of the "health and safety" and "comfort and energy efficiency" of your home.  "Health and safety" means checking for asbestos and testing gas appliances, for example, while "comfort and energy efficiency" evaluates things such as how well your insulation is working and how efficient your furnace is. That report is then submitted to your local utility company — for most East Bay residents, that means PG&E.

    After going over possible upgrades and the cost of those fixes with the contractor, the homeowner then decides on a plan of action. After the work is completed, the contractor performs another energy audit of the home and submits it to PG&E, which would then send a check to the customer. In addition to the $1,000 to $4,500 rebate for the upgrades, PG&E also offers up to $300 for the audit, which can cost between $100 and $450, depending on the size of the home.

    The average rebate is $3,000 and the average cost of the upgrades (before the rebate) is between $10,000 and $15,000.  Most customers get 25 percent back in rebates,

4. Benefits
  • xxx

5. Risks/Issues
  • Low Energy Use Homes - Solar power and energy-efficient upgrades are still cost-prohibitive for many such homeowners — that is, it costs more to put solar panels on your home or make energy-efficient upgrades than what you'll save on your monthly PG&E bill. Part of the problem is that the state does not provide enough green-energy incentives, particularly for low-energy users. For example, California strictly limits a homeowner's ability to sell excess solar energy back to utilities.

6. Success Criteria
  1. xxx
7. Case Studies
  • xxx

8. Companies/Organizations
  1. A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. - Vallejo, CA
  2. Advanced Home Energy - Richmond, CA - One of the largest Bay Area contractors to participate in Energy Upgrade California, 
  3. Building Performance Professionals - Martinez, CA

9. Links
  1. EnergyUpgradeCA.org -

  2. East Bay Express - Organic Energy by Robert Gammon April 15, 2014

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