City of Santa Barbara Progresses Toward 100% Clean Energy Goal

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Source: Smart Grid Observer

Renew Financial, a leading clean energy and home improvement finance company, announced that the City of Santa Barbara has joined the CaliforniaFIRST PACE financing program and will make the program available to City residents in the near future. This action is a crucial positive step toward Santa Barbara meeting its commendable goal of exclusively using renewable energy sources by 2030.

CaliforniaFIRST helps property owners to finance the full cost of home upgrades such as rooftop solar panels, energy and water efficiency, and even seismic resilience. Homeowners then repay those costs over time as a line item on their property tax bill. By eliminating the upfront cost barrier for environmentally-friendly home upgrades, CaliforniaFIRST makes these upgrades accessible to more Santa Barbara homeowners than ever before. Now, nearly 24,000 Santa Barbara homeowners will be able to use CaliforniaFIRST to go solar, save money on their utility bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help the City of Santa Barbara reach its clean energy goal.

'This is a great opportunity to make it easier for our residents to upgrade their homes and reduce our community's greenhouse gas emissions,' said Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider. 'The City of Santa Barbara is committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2030. Authorizing Open PACE, including the CaliforniaFIRST PACE program, will enable local homeowners to help us reach that goal.'

To date, Renew Financial estimates that, over the life of the financed upgrades, the renewable energy and energy efficient products it has financed will have:

  • Cut total greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million metric tons - equivalent to the yearly emissions of 485,000 cars
  • Conserved 877 million gallons of water - enough water for 48 million showers
  • Realized over $1.5 billion in energy savings
  • Created more than 15,000 jobs across 15 states
  • Funded over 83,600 projects

'CaliforniaFIRST means that homeowners in the City of Santa Barbara can do their part to reduce greenhouse emissions, all while reducing their utility bills,' said Jeremy Hutman, Senior Regional PACE Director for Renew Financial. 'We are proud to help the City move toward a future powered entirely by clean energy. By increasing demand for home upgrades, CaliforniaFIRST will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will also help local contractors create jobs here in Santa Barbara jobs that can't be outsourced. It is a win-win for the community.'

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