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New rebate for home energy efficiency

Other benefit: lower utility bills

San Mateo County homeowners interested in making their homes more energy efficient could be eligible to receive up to $8,000 in construction rebates, county officials said Monday.

Representatives from PG&E, San Mateo County and San Mateo-based Solarcity gathered outside a recently upgraded house in Redwood City to outline the benefits of enrolling in Energy Upgrade California, a plan set up by the state that gives homeowners money to pay for improvements that result in lower energy use.

Besides the cash incentives from PG&E and San Mateo County, benefits of the plan include lower utility bills, lower carbon emissions, and a safer more comfortable home, San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine said.

"We're all concerned about reducing our carbon footprint," Mr. Pine said. "Homes and businesses produce about 40 percent of the emissions we generate."

PG&E and San Mateo County are offering homeowners up to $8,000 toward remodeling projects that reduce household energy use, such as replacing water heaters, resealing air ducts and insulating water pipes and attic walls.

Gary, a Redwood City homeowner who did not want his last name used, said he enrolled in the program and had his home assessed by a team from Solarcity. The team created an energy upgrade plan that included removing an old water heater and filling leaks in heating ducts.

"The way houses were built back in the day, they were very drafty from bottom to top," Gary said.

More information can be found online at www.energyupgradeca.org or by calling the San Mateo County Energy Upgrade Program at (650) 762-5440.

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