Originally published July 26, 2011 at 4:28 p.m., updated July 26, 2011 at 3:50 p.m.
The "Reduce Then Produce" program offers discounted home energy upgrades and solar panel systems to help San Diego homeowners lower their energy usage.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has declared this the “Summer of Energy Independence.” He helped launch the “Reduce then Produce” program yesterday whereby San Diegans can save energy and money through significant group discounts on home retrofits and solar panels.
“A few weeks ago we challenged San Diegans to find ways this summer to reduce their fossil-fuel consumption. But it’s nice when a challenge comes with a helping hand,” Sanders said. “The idea behind this program is that participants first reduce by ensuring their home is using minimal energy, then they produce the rest of the energy they need with solar panels.”
The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) is partnering with the city to offer the discounted services. Executive Director Irene Stillings said energy conservation is important “for a better environment, for fewer greenhouse gas emissions, for decreased dependence on foreign oil, and for our long-term security as a region, as individuals, and as a nation.”
An initial home assessment costs between $149 and $199, and is applied to the total cost of energy upgrades if the homeowner decides to complete the work. The Energy Upgrade California Program offers rebates of up to $4,000 for these home retrofits. After completing the energy efficiency upgrades, local contractors will install solar panel systems for 25 percent less than their average cost in San Diego for the last year. If 100 or more homes install solar panels through this program, all participants will receive a 5 percent rebate.
CCSE program manager Jack Clark said that homes participating in similar programs spent on average $9,000 for energy upgrades and saved about $1,000 per year on their energy bills.
The Reduce Then Produce program runs for three months.