Homeowners offered $8,000 in rebates for home upgrades


Representatives from PG&E, San Mateo County and San Mateo-based Solarcity gathered outside a recently upgraded house in Redwood City to outline the benefits of enrolling in Energy Upgrade California, a plan set up by the state that gives homeowners money to pay for improvements that result in lower energy use.

Besides the cash incentives from PG&E and San Mateo County, benefits of the plan include lower utility bills, lower carbon emissions, and a safer more comfortable home, San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine said.

"We're all concerned about reducing our carbon footprint," Pine said. "Homes and businesses produce about 40 percent of the emissions we generate."

PG&E and San Mateo County are offering homeowners up to $8,000 toward remodeling projects that reduce household energy use, such as replacing water heaters, resealing air ducts and insulating water pipes and attic walls.

The City of San Bruno is offering its residents an additional $4,000 toward efficiency upgrades, public works management analyst Jim Shannon said. The city will also cover the cost of any permits needed to complete the upgrade projects.

Gary, a Redwood City homeowner who did not want his last name used, said he enrolled in the program and had his home assessed by a team from Solarcity. The team created an energy upgrade plan that included removing an old water heater and filling leaks in heating ducts.

"The way houses were built back in the day, they were very drafty from bottom to top," Gary said.

The county will hold the first of four open houses to discuss enrolling in the program in San Bruno on Aug. 23 at the San Bruno Senior Center at 7 p.m.

More information can be found online at www.energyupgradeca.org or by calling the San Mateo County Energy Upgrade Program at (650) 762-5440.

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