For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Neal DeSnoo, Energy Program Officer, (510) 981-7439

STIMULUS FUNDING COMES HOME TO BERKELEY
City of Berkeley receives more than a million dollars in federal funding to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, September 16, 2009) - Berkeley property owners and businesses will have access to more incentives and rebates for their energy-efficiency improvements, thanks to a $1.035 million U.S. Department of Energy award to the City of Berkeley.

The federal funding will be used to provide incentives and rebates to homeowners, rental property owners and businesses for comprehensive energy tests and energy efficiency improvements. The award is the result of a stimulus-funding application that was made by the City’s Office of Energy and Sustainable Development.

“Unlike other cities, Berkeley is targeting its stimulus funding allocation directly into the homes and businesses of Berkeley residents,” said Neal DeSnoo, Energy Program Officer. “Building energy use accounts for nearly 50 percent of Berkeley’s greenhouse gas emissions. By making it cheaper and easier to do major energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings, we can significantly reduce our total emissions.”

 The program is expected to reduce energy bills by over $180,000 annually, effectively recouping the federal investment in less than six years. In addition, it is intended to catalyze the local economy by creating green collar jobs for home performance contractors and energy raters.

The funding is part of the Berkeley Energy Initiative, a far-reaching and integrated energy efficiency plan developed as part of the Climate Action Plan. Beginning in July 2010, Berkeley residents and businesses will be able to apply for funding to conduct comprehensive energy audits and complete major energy upgrades.

The City of Berkeley is currently developing program guidelines, training vendors and conducting public outreach on the types of energy efficiency work that will be eligible for rebates under the program.

The first set of workshops, titled "Start at Home," focus on consumer education around home performance testing and improvements and will be held on the following dates:

Thursday, September 17, 2009 
7-8:30 p.m.
St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (2024 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley 94703)

Thursday, October 8, 2009 
7-8:30 p.m.
St. Johns Presbyterian Church (2727 College Avenue, Berkeley 94705)

Thursday, October 22, 2009 
7-8:30 p.m.
Epworth Unified Methodist Church (1953 Hopkins Street, Berkeley 94707)

To receive updates about the program, Berkeley residents are encouraged to subscribe to the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development’s website at: www.cityofberkeley.info/sustainable.

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