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Homeownership is the largest single investment most individuals will make. Difficult economic conditions have many homeowners looking for ways to make the most of their investment while reducing monthly utility costs.
Taking note of the serious housing crisis in their community, officials in Sarasota County devised a program, leveraging Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funding and outside resources, to help homeowners save money on energy costs, while helping to retain local jobs with the Get Energy Smart Retrofit Program.
The staff at the Sarasota County Office of Sustainability worked with three municipalities in the county (the Cities of Sarasota, North Port and Venice) to develop the program, which offers three options to help homeowners make energy saving improvements:
- Free Do-It-Yourself home energy kits.
- Rebates of up to $3,750 on approved energy saving home improvements audits performed by approved contractors.
- Zero interest loans of up to $5,000 for income qualified homeowners seeking to make approved home improvements.
The Get Energy Smart Retrofit Program collectively represents an investment of over $2.3 million in local job creation and energy savings strategies. It will serve a minimum of 517 households with many more expected depending on the average requested rebate and loan amounts. This collaborative effort is the result of local EECBG formula recipients coming together to provide the maximum benefits to Sarasota County residents. Since August, more than 50 participating contractors have signed up to provide services through the program.
Sarasota County’s Get Energy Smart Retrofit Program is investing in its long-term energy sustainability, maintaining property values and stimulating work for local contractors. As a result of program and local community commitment, the program is helping to reduce residential energy demand and retain needed local jobs.
For more information on the program visit http://www.scgov.net/retrofit/Default.asp