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Title: Santa Barbara Final Technical Report

This report serves as the Final Report for Santa Barbara County’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) BetterBuildings Neighborhood Program (BBNP) award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This report explains how DOE BBNP funding was invested to develop robust program infrastructure designed to help property owners complete energy improvements, thereby generating substantial outcomes for the local environment and economy. It provides an overview of program development and design within the grant period, program accomplishments and challenges to date, and a plan for the future sustainability of emPower, the County’s innovative clean energy and building efficiency program. During the grant period, Santa Barbara County’s emPower program primarily targeted 32,000 owner occupied, single family, detached residential homes over 25 years old within the County. In order to help these homeowners and their contractors overcome market barriers to completing residential energy improvements, the program developed and promoted six voluntary, market-based service areas: 1) low cost residential financing (loan loss reserve with two local credit unions), 2) residential rebates, 3) local customer service, 4) expert energy advising, 5) workforce development and training, and 6) marketing, education and outreach. The main goals of the program were to lower building energy use, createmore » jobs and develop a lasting regional building performance market. These services have generated important early outcomes and lessons after the program’s first two years in service. The DOE BBNP funding was extended through October 2014 to enable Santa Barbara County to generate continued outcomes. In fact, funding related to residential financing remains wholly available for the foreseeable future to continue offering Home Upgrade Loans to approximately 1,300 homeowners. The County’s investment of DOE BBNP funding was used to build a lasting, effective, and innovative program design that has earned statewide recognition and distinction. As a result of the County’s leadership, the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) offered over $5 million in funding to continue realizing ongoing returns on the initial investment made in developing emPower, alongside remaining (extended) DOE BBNP funds. These new funding sources, accepted by the County Board of Supervisors on June 25, 2013, also allow the program to expand its innovative energy solutions to the broader region, including Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Count of Santa Barbara
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States