Significant changes are occurring in the federal government and could result in some popular programs being eliminated or modified. The 30% tax credit for installing solar has been helping homeowners to go solar for many years. It is possible this credit could be eliminated. In addition, energy efficiency programs such as the free home energy evaluation through the County’s emPower program have been very successful in helping homeowners reduce their energy use and costs. We recommend you look into the two following programs while they are available.
Should I add Solar Energy?
You should consider adding solar if your energy bill averages more than about $100 a month. Multiple options for purchasing or leasing solar can fit almost any situation. However, evaluating the best options when it comes to designing, sizing, selecting and financing your system can be confusing. Here is an article on the things you should consider when considering going solar.
Homeowners have several options when making a decision about going solar. The traditional method is to host a number of solar installers at one’s home spending several hours with each, discussing options, and obtaining cost information. This process can be exhausting and overwhelming, and the homeowner may be left with bids that all look different, like comparing apples and oranges. Another option is using an online marketplace in which a third party obtains quotes for you and compares them; a couple of such platforms exist, Energysage and Pick My Solar. The services offered by these platforms differs so be sure to ask about the full suite of services available.
Pick My Solar, a Los Angeles-based company, uses only regional installers who are heavily vetted before being accepted into the program. As well as their online bidding platform Pick My Solar is currently offering a community group buy program (where large volume leads to significantly discounted prices) in the Conejo Valley over the next two months, similar to the one recently offered in the San Gabriel Valley. Under this program installers are pre-selected and because installations are concentrated homeowners can obtain even bigger savings, up to 30% below market averages. Click here for more information and to sign up for informational workshops. The City will be hosting workshops from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at the Thousand Oaks Library on March 14 and at the Newbury Park Library on April 3.
Local Solar Installers – The City has requested that Pick My Solar offer you an opportunity to become pre-qualified for bid opportunities and for the group buy program. Click here to review the RFP and apply.
Financing Energy & Water Conservation Improvements
The City of Thousand Oaks has authorized multiple Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) providers. PACE providers use an innovative tool for financing energy efficiency, water conservation and clean energy projects on private property. Residential and commercial property owners in Thousand Oaks can secure loans under this program. Billing for the loans will be assessed on their County property tax bill. Visit http://www.toaksgogreen.org/lowcostenergywaterconservationfinancing/ for information on PACE financing.
Saving Money and Energy with emPower Ventura County
emPower is a County-run program designed to help local single family homeowners access easy and affordable home energy upgrades. Homeowners can choose from eligible upgrade measures such as replacing old or broken furnaces, ducts, windows, air sealing and insulation. The program partners with uniquely qualified local contractors, specially trained in building science and with local credit unions like Ventura County Credit Union to provide low-interest, unsecured loans. The best part? emPower makes it easy to get started with a FREE Home Energy Evaluation with an emPower Energy Coach. To learn more about the program or to schedule your FREE Home Energy Evaluation, call (805) 654-3834 or visit www.emPowerSBC.org.
A free home energy assessment by a Home Energy Coach can address common troubles, like old or broken furnaces, ducts, windows and insulation. “Having a free home energy evaluation is usually very empowering for people, regardless of the age of their house,” says Javier Saucedo, a Home Energy Coach. “People are constantly amazed by what they didn’t know about factors in their homes that affect their health as well as energy efficiency.”
On top of saving energy and potentially lowering utility bills, the upgrades aim to step up a home’s indoor air quality, safety and comfort and normally increase the home’s value. And boosting energy efficiency doesn’t have to break the bank; with emPower you can take advantage of utility incentives up to $6,500 and get low-interest financing.