For Immediate Release: May 27, 2010
Media Contact: Michele Demetras - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

SF Bay Area Receives Nearly $11 Million in Stimulus Money
Residential Retrofits Create Jobs, Leverage More Funding

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission approved $10.7 million to the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to create clean jobs, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions with residential energy retrofit measures. Funding for this program comes from the federal America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The comprehensive community-scale building retrofit program, called Retrofit Bay Area, is targeting up to 15,000 single-family and 2,000 multi-family residences for energy efficiency upgrades. The multi county program is expected to create more than 1,700 jobs, save 58,000 megawatt hours (enough to power about 116,000 homes for a month) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20,053 tons each year. Additionally, Retrofit Bay Area is leveraging the $10.7 million into more than $184 million of public and private funds.

"This is an exemplary program that will continue to offer important energy efficiency savings and job growth opportunities to California homeowners long into the future," said Anthony Eggert, Commissioner, California Energy Commission. "Energy Efficiency investments in your home are an investment in California's energy future increasing our energy security, promoting economic growth and improving the environment."

Retrofit Bay Area will be offered in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Solano and Sonoma Counties and offer an innovative marketing and outreach strategy to motivate property owners to participate with numerous homeowner incentives, including energy efficiency and solar financing and utility rebates. Measures will vary from simple energy efficiency improvements such as installing insulation or duct sealing, to more complex whole house retrofits employing home energy raters and building performance contractors trained to accomplish deeper, comprehensive energy upgrades.

The SF Bay Area currently has many advanced building efficiency policies and programs that allow ABAG to effectively implement a cutting-edge program model that is could be repeated statewide and nationally. The program uses an aggressive retrofit strategy looking for a minimum 20 percent energy savings on average.

Investing in green workforce training programs and developing trained workers is key to the success of the ARRA programs. California has many currently unemployed, skilled housing industry workers who, with training can make vital contributions to the state's clean energy sector.

Administered by the Association of Bay Area Governments the comprehensive community-scale building retrofit program is made up of 103 local governments in California's second most populous region and includes diverse program expertise and leadership at the local, state, and national level.

State Energy Program (SEP)

The California Energy Commission has received and is administering $226 million in federal ARRA funding for the programs like these through the State Energy Program (SEP). California's SEP is focused on increasing energy efficiency to reduce energy costs and consumption, cut reliance on imported energy, and shrink energy impacts on the environment. Under the $110 million SEP competitive solicitation, funding for 12 local jurisdictions, non-profits or private organizations was awarded that created unique partnerships in three distinct areas: the California Comprehensive Residential Building Retrofit Program, the Municipal and Commercial Building Targeted Measure Retrofit Program, and the Municipal Financing Program.

For more information on this program or other Recovery Act funded programs visit www.energy.ca.gov/recovery.

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