Solvang Community Kicks off 50 Home Challenge for Energy Efficiency

Third District County Supervisor Joan Hartmann is surrounded by home efficiency experts. Pictured left to right is Marisa Hanson, Program Specialist, emPower Central Coast; Ashley Watkins, Santa Barbara County Program Services Supervisor, Energy and Sustainability Initiatives; Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson; Hartmann; Devon Hartman, Executive Director, Community Home Energy Retrofit Project; Scott Parsons, Operations/Production Manager, Halsell Builders; and Ryan Lamb, Energy Upgrade Central Coast Program Manager, Halsell Builders.

Residents and local leaders joined together on October 18 to kick-off the 50 Home Challenge, a joint initiative between Santa Barbara County’s emPower Central Coast program and the nonprofit CHERP (Community Home Energy Retrofit Project) to retrofit 50 single family homes in Solvang to make them more energy efficient.

Attendees at the event got the full scoop on resources made available through the Challenge and benefits from making energy improvements, such as upgrading a home’s insulation, furnace, air conditioner and installing solar. Held at Solvang City Hall, the event featured emPower and CHERP staff members who were on hand to give attendees the opportunity to sign up for a home energy assessment with an emPower Energy Coach and receive a detailed report on their home energy use. Some lucky homeowners walked away with raffle prizes, including three Nest Learning Thermostats.

If you missed the festivities, the 50 Home Challenge is open to all Solvang residents. To learn more, go to or call Marisa Hanson at (805) 568-3530 to schedule a free home energy assessment.

“The 50 Home Challenge brings together everything a homeowner would need to complete home energy upgrades that will have impacts well beyond your property and even the county,” said Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, who was on hand for the celebration. “With our hot summers and cool winters, Solvang is the perfect climate for this opportunity, and I’m proud to see so many residents taking the steps that will lower their energy costs, make their homes more comfortable, and make a real difference for our environment.”

“Seeing the energy and enthusiasm for the 50 Home Challenge in Solvang has been incredible!” said Devon Hartman, CHERP’s executive director. “We all want to create a more comfortable and healthier living space, but I also met so many people who really want to make more environmentally friendly choices. This effort starts at home, and I can’t wait to see what the people of Solvang are able to achieve.”

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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