Since launching in fall 2017, the Solvang 50 Home Challenge provided residents with education and opportunities to reduce wasted resources and make home energy efficiency updates more affordable. The community outreach activities have ended, however a selection of rebates and savings are still reserved for area homeowners who start their projects before December 31, 2018.

A joint initiative of Santa Barbara County’s emPower Central Coast program and the nonprofit CHERP (Community Home Energy Retrofit Project), the Solvang 50 Home Challenge engaged the community with the goal of retrofitting single-family homes to make them more energy efficient. As a result, 50 Home Challenge staff and volunteers engaged with more than 230 community members. Forty-nine homeowners welcomed an emPower Energy Coach for a free home assessment to look for energy troubles, while seven homeowners moved forward to complete, or are in progress with, full home upgrades. 

“It can often take homeowners several months to make a decision to move forward on making home upgrades,” said Marisa Hanson-Lopez, emPower Program Specialist. “We expect even more projects to be completed before the end of this year. It’s rewarding to meet so many residents who were curious and ready to do something positive for the environment, as well as make their homes more comfortable.”

While the home challenge is wrapping up, it’s not too late to hop on board and become a leader in home energy efficiency. Solvang area residents are still able to take advantage of free home energy assessments, group discounts, cash rebates and low-interest financing for home energy efficiency upgrades as part of the 50 Home Challenge. Eligible energy improvements include upgrading a home’s insulation, furnace, air conditioner, installing solar and more.

Local homeowners in Solvang and surrounding communities can find more information or schedule a free home energy assessment online at or by phone at (805) 568-3556.

About emPower Central Coast
The emPower program was established by the County of Santa Barbara to offer incentives, financing and free technical advice to help single-family homeowners make home energy upgrades easier and more affordable. 


CHERP is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that was created to eliminate barriers to success of our critical, national energy efficiency goals.

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