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A 1950s ranch home on Marconi Avenue had some distinguished visitors Friday morning, thanks to SMUD’s Home Performance Program (HPP).
Congresswoman Doris Matsui joined representatives from SMUD and the news media to tour the home, now being retrofitted to be energy-stingy as part of SMUD’s HPP.
With Matsui’s help, SMUD received a $20 million federal grant last year for HPP to help customers reduce their energy bills and improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The funds were made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant. Matsui said the grant will create more than 750 local jobs.
HPP uses an innovative whole-house approach (based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®) to cut back on the energy a house or apartment building uses. Improvements include measures like duct sealing, new insulation and new heating and air conditioning systems.
After her $99 home energy audit, Mary Jane Lee, owner of the Marconi Avenue home, learned she can save more than 30 percent on her utility bills by making upgrades to her attic and sealing duct leakage. Additionally, Lee will be receiving a rebate of $3,750 for making these improvements. The contractor is Brower Mechanical.
HPP cuts the cost of home energy audits from $500 to $99 and offers homeowners rebates of up to $9,000 per home and contractors up to $2,800 per apartment for energy improvements. The goal is to retrofit about 2,000 single-family and 2,500 multifamily homes with energy-saving upgrades.
For more on the Home Performance Program: http://hpp.smud.org/
Disclosure: Becky Repka is employed by SMUD in Corporate Communications.