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GreenTown Los Altos announces two new energy programs

Ryan Church of AVA Construction and Steve Schmidt at GreenTown's Energy Upgrade Meeting, 2/1/12

GreenTown Los Altos held a workshop on home energy upgrades on February 1. Two new GreenTown programs and the Energy Upgrade California program were explained to 40 people in attendance.

With the advent of Smart Meters®, it is now possible to analyze a household’s energy use from the comfort of your own home. GreenTown Los Altos, partnering with High Energy Audits, Inc. is offering a detailed online assessment of energy use using a web-based tool that can give you results in about 15 minutes. The tool identifies “hidden energy users,” such as electronics that are turned off but still drawing power, pool pumps, recirculation pumps and many others. The analysis can determine if you are a good candidate for the Energy Upgrade California program, which focuses on home heating and cooling efficiencies (see below). To qualify for the online assessment, you need to live in Los Altos, have lived in your home for at least a year and have a PG&E SmartMeter® . GreenTown is offering $50 online assessments for the first 50 homes in Los Altos that sign up to use this tool. Sign up at This tool is already available to Los Altos Hills residents through Acterra’s High Energy Homes project.

Faye Rachford, Energy Upgrade specialist, center, with two attendees

If your online assessment indicates that your heating and cooling loads are your primary concern, then you should consider an energy upgrade through the Energy Upgrade California program. This program entitles homeowners to substantial energy rebates – up to $4,000 in incentives with PG&E’s Advanced Upgrade Package. For a typical California home built before the 1980s, energy efficiency wasn’t part of the equation. “Energy was cheap, and the consequences of producing and using energy were not widely understood,” said Faye Rachford, an energy upgrade specialist with Energy Upgrade California. “Now, however, we look at the home as a system. We recommend that you begin with an energy assessment.” Go to Energy Upgrade and find a local contractor trained to conduct these assessments and perform any neccesary work. You may find that you save energy and money and end up with a more comfortable, healthier home. Act now, the incentives end this year!

To help you make the shift to renewable electricity, GreenTown Los Altos announced a second new program for homeowners, available both to Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents. Working with Bay Area Climate Collaborative SunShares program, this effort leverages the buying power of several communities to attract a solar panel vendor with a highly competitive offer. If you have ever considered solar panels – now is the time! Sign up now to add your name to a list of residents interested in high-quality, low-cost solar energy. The contractor will be selected by February 27. We’re expecting attractively priced offers with lease options that can get you started with no money down. Questions? Email

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