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POSTED ON 10.08.2015 2:16 P.M.


The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will proclaim October as “Energy Awareness Month” at its Oct. 13, 2015, board meeting, highlighting the county’s commitment to promoting responsible and efficient energy use and encouraging citizens to do the same.

“The County not only is a leader in promoting the value of energy conservation but also leads by example by implementing many energy saving  strategies in our county buildings, our car fleet and by installing a solar panels in strategic locations” said Janet Wolf, second district supervisor and board chair.

To celebrate energy awareness month, emPower Santa Barbara County will host an Energy & Water Expo Oct. 20, 2015, from 5–7 p.m. at the County Administration Building (105 E. Anapamu Street, first Floor, Santa Barbara) featuring presentations, exhibit booths and refreshments.

Attendees will get tips on improving home efficiency, comfort and indoor air quality. There will also be the chance to win a Nest Learning Thermostat valued at $250.

Southern California Gas Company customers can also bring their account numbers to receive a free water and energy saving kit with a free low-flow shower head and faucet aerators.

As noted in the proclamation, Santa Barbara County has a long tradition of environmental stewardship and is utilizing numerous programs to promote responsible and efficient energy use within county government and among residents and businesses, including the following:

» emPower has helped over 10,000 homeowners with their home energy improvement questions and inquiries, and 675 home energy projects have been initiated.

» The General Services Department has led efforts to successfully reduce cumulative water consumption across all county-owned facilities by 32 percent compared to 2013 usage.

» The Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division of the Public Works Department administers the Green Business Program, which provides resources to businesses wanted to be green. Based on an analysis of 66 South Coast businesses that achieved certification during the first five years of the program, 1,151,262.08 kWh per year of electricity have been saved.

» The South County Energy Efficiency Partnership (SCEEP), of which the county is a partner, is currently organizing a “direct install” program in Goleta, Carpinteria and Santa Barbara. The program offers free light fixtures, low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators to small businesses, mobile home residents and multi-family buildings.

» The Housing and Community Development (HCD) Division of the Community Services Department recently facilitated an energy efficiency

HVAC/window replacement project with federal Community Development Block Grant  funds in Solvang with Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People.

Additionally, HCD administered federal HOME affordable housing funds to two Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara (HACSB) projects — Pescadero Lofts in Isla Vista and Santa Rita Village II in Lompoc — which installed solar energy panels to offset energy use.

For more information about Energy Awareness Month events, tips on saving energy or to speak with a representative of emPower, call 805.568.3566 or visit the website at

— Angel Pacheco is a publicist representing emPower Central Coast.

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