If you want to save money and lighten your ecological footprint, read on. At the last community gathering we announced the roll-out of our Ojai Energy Efficiency Initiative with the long term goal of a “Net Zero” valley. The initiative is an educational outreach program to connect energy consumers to the newest technologies and funding resources to help lessen our overall energy consumption.
The OVGC obtained $11,000 in grant financing from the Edison and Sempra Foundations to hire an outreach coordinator and act as a resource clearinghouse. The initial effort is about showing consumers all the latest incentives to conserve and even produce the energy we use. The vision for the program is to bring people into the OVGC Resource Center where they can sit down at a computer with a knowledgeable volunteer and find a program that may be right for them, and at the same time we will take the information into the community through presentations tailored to the audience.
This initial grant funding supports a temporary, part-time position to help coordinate outreach to individuals and groups throughout the valley on the many federal and state programs available for all income levels. Anyone interested in the position should be bi-lingual and can contact Deborah at (805) 669-8445 or by email.
The roll out of the Coalition’s Energy Efficiency Initiative couldn’t be timelier.
President Obama has just requested a budget increase for Energy Department financing and its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The agency underwrites a broad range of energy efficiency initiatives and Obama’s budget asks for $2.3 billion, up from $1.6 billion, and $350 million, up from $275 million, for the department’s advanced research program.
One of the new services out there and available right now is Energy Upgrade California, a state program for energy efficiency and retro-fitting. Under this program, a licensed, qualified contractor comes to your existing home and inspects it using all the latest technology and can then ‘upgrade’ your home for the greatest energy savings. What’s even better is there are grants available to homeowners and renters who qualify to get the work done.
Our goal is to synthesize all the information out there down to a user-friendly level for all segments of our community and support individuals as best we can in reducing their utility bills and contributing to the reduction of the Ojai Valley’s energy footprint. Then for those who can, and it makes sense, we encourage checking out the many options for solar electricity. Then we can achieve the end vision of a “net zero” community by producing as much energy as we use.