Home » Energy efficiency program for homes advances
Community Voice

Energy efficiency program for homes advances

Residents may be able to schedule a household energy efficiency makeover in the coming months. Sacramento officials are making headway on a voluntary program to provide residents and businesses a way to make energy efficiency upgrades to their properties.

The program received a $740,000 infusion of federal stimulus dollars in November. It would allow property owners to choose from a variety of energy efficiency improvements. Participants would pay for their upgrades over five, 10 or 20 years, said Councilman Kevin McCarty, who directed city staff last year to create the program in Sacramento.
“I just think the upside is tremendous in this [program],” he said.

The charges for the upgrades would be placed on a homeowner’s property taxes and participation in the citywide program would be voluntary. The list of options for upgrades is not final but some draft options include installing insulation, sealing leaks and window replacement, according to a document provided by Yvette Rincon, the city’s sustainability program manager. Other upgrades that may be available to property owners through the program are whole house fans, solar heating and lighting efficiencies.

If the City Council approves the program in early 2010, it could go into effect in the spring, McCarty said. The program will lower energy bills and cut carbon dioxide emissions, among other benefits, he noted.

And it may create as many as 710 jobs, according to figures from the Center for Strategic Economic Research, a Sacramento-based research organization. “Nearly every industry sector in the Sacramento region could benefit in some way from the indirect and induced impacts associated with the construction and installation work and additional household consumption,” its report states.

Rincon said the organization derived its figures from a potential 1 percent participation rate of property owners in the city and county of Sacramento.

The $740,000 in federal stimulus money that was approved by the City Council last month will go toward the program’s marketing and outreach effort and staff time, according to Rincon’s Nov. 24 report. She noted that the program will not use money from the city’s general fund.

Residents who sign up will receive an “energy audit” to show how much power they are using, Rincon said. The audit will include a list of recommendations for energy efficiency upgrades, she said, adding that some of the most cost-effective energy improvements are installing insulation and sealing leaks.

The city is working on the program with numerous local entities, including the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District, Sacramento and Yolo counties, and the cities of Davis, Galt, Rancho Cordova, Folsom and Citrus Heights. These bodies are working to establish the program in their jurisdictions, Rincon said.

Those entities also plan to apply for more federal stimulus funding, she said.

Photo by Anthony Bento.

Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.

Support Local


Subscribe to Our
Weekly Newsletter

Stay connected to what's happening
in the city
We respect your privacy

Subscribe to Sacramento

Share via
Copy link