emPower Joining Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival April 22-23

emPower Central Coast will be handing out water bottles, providing home energy efficiency tips and offering information on incentives for making home upgrades at the Community Services Department’s Energy and Sustainability Initiatives booth during the 2017 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival April 22 and 23 in Alameda Park.

The booth will be located in the Public Square (booth #382-383). In addition to the emPower program, the Division of Energy and Sustainability Initiatives also oversees implementation of the County’s Energy and Climate Action Plan.

emPower will give away a free reusable water bottle to the first 50 people who visit the booth and participate in the “bright idea for energy efficiency” activity. Visitors will also be able to learn about their home energy use, simple efficiency tips like the ones below and how insufficient insulation, unsealed gaps and other troubles can affect indoor comfort.

“Earth Day is a time for residents to access information and resources to kick start their green home projects,” said Ashley Watkins, Program Services Supervisor. “There will be a wealth of passionate people in one spot looking to share their knowledge.”

Booth visitors can schedule a free home site visit from an emPower Energy Coach who can search for common home energy efficiency issues such as inefficient equipment and poor insulation levels. emPower can also refer homeowners to participating local, qualified contractors and connect them with utility incentives up to $5,500, as well as low-interest, unsecured financing that starts at 3.9%.

The Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival will be held 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 22 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 23 at Alameda Park, 1400 Santa Barbara St.

While the biggest reduction of home energy use comes from working with qualified contractors to replace inefficient equipment such as furnaces, seal drafty wall gaps and install proper insulation, the tips below are a great way to get going on energy efficiency goals today and #MakeEarthDayEveryDay:

  1. Test out nature’s dryer by hanging your laundry to air dry. If your machine is in your home, make sure the unit is sending its exhaust outside. If not, that’s a lot of heat being released into your home..
  2. Consider whether a toaster oven will do the job. Heating up the full size wall oven will use more energy and release more heat into the house than a smaller toaster oven.
  3. Power down electronics and appliances. Many electronics and appliances still draw power even when in “sleep” mode or with the power switch turned off. Take care of this issue by using an advanced power strip that can be flipped off when the connected appliances aren’t in use.
  4. Replace incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. Today’s LED bulbs can be six times more efficient than their outdated incandescent counterparts. They’ll also last significantly longer. The cost to consumers on this emerging technology is also decreasing.
  5. Reset your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees. Many come from the manufacturer set to 140 degrees, but you’ll still be able to get comfortable hot water after dialing it back. Insulating the first six feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater will also help keep water warm and reduce standby heat loss.

For more information, visit http://www.empowersbc.org.

About emPower Central Coast
The emPower program offers voluntary incentives, financing and other services to help single-family homeowners in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties make home energy upgrades easier and more affordable. emPower was established by the County of Santa Barbara to help the community preserve the environment by helping to lower energy consumption and stimulate the economy by creating jobs through innovative, voluntary solutions to support a sustainable building performance market

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