Energy Upgrade California™ is a state initiative to help Californians take action to save energy and conserve natural resources. The program provides tips for businesses on how to save energy and water.
Certain energy efficiency and solar improvements can qualify for federal tax credits up to 30%. 
GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit organization that brings the benefits of solar technology to communities that would not otherwise have access, providing needed savings for families, preparing workers for jobs in the fast-growing solar industry, and helping clean our environment.
Solarize is a program brought to you by the Community Environmental Council (CEC) that makes it simple and affordable for homeowners to go solar. Their group purchasing model helps local homeowners install solar electricity at a discounted price through a streamlined and hassle-free process.
CAC seeks to create opportunities to help families achieve stability.  Part of this effort includes offering free weatherization services and other energy services such as appliance repair to lower utility bills for income qualified households in Santa Barbara County.
The County’s Planning and Development Department offers free technical advice from local experts and time and money saving incentives such as reduced plan check fees for applicants who incorporate energy efficiency into their developments.
The Santa Barbara County Water Agency and local water providers offer rebates, education, helpful advice and free water check-ups for homes and businesses to help them save water and money.

The itchy eyes and empty tissue box can only mean one thing: spring is in the air. Even in our own homes, many of us can’t escape these unwelcome signs of the season! While the Central Coast is filled with houses built in the ‘50s and ‘70s, these classic structures often aren’t up to the task of keeping out dust, pollen and other pollutants.

As our go-to spot to socialize, entertain and relax, the living room is a natural place to start when it’s time for a home remodel. But you can do a lot more than upping the size of your TV or springing for a bouncier sofa. In fact, there are a number of energy efficiency upgrades that will help make the center of your home the perfect retreat from summer heat.

While a new coffee table would make a great place to put your feet up at the end of the day, consider some of these options to really transform your space.

Whether carving a turkey or decorating cookies, holiday gatherings tend to center around the kitchen. But if the counter tilework looks like it has fond memories of the ‘70s, you may not have time to do the major overhaul you’ve been dreaming of before mom and dad show up with the eggnog. But there are still a number of projects you can take care of now and others to save for later that’ll make your cooking space more energy efficient, comfortable and safe.

Are you getting to the breaking point being greeted day after day by the sound of squeaky, leaky bathroom faucets or the sight of mismatched floor tiles? Is your Pinterest already brimming with pictures of your dream bath? While improving your bathroom’s aesthetic appeal may be your top goal, you’ll be happy to know that a remodel also brings the opportunity to save money, water and energy, all while creating a healthier home.

There are few better feelings than jumping into bed and burrowing into the blankets at the end of a long day. Our bedrooms are special spaces where we can relax and renew. A new coat of paint or curtains from time to time keeps the look fresh, but when you’re ready for bigger changes, it’s a great time to focus on some of the things you may not be able to see. There are home energy efficiency issues that could be keeping you from that rest and relaxation you need – and taking a toll on the environment, indoors and out!

Along with the promise of longer, brighter days and green hillsides comes the not so fun elements of the season – spring cleaning. We may have become pros at ignoring that thick cobweb hanging from the living room ceiling, but spring signifies it’s time to finally roll up our sleeves and do something about it.

Squeeze your way into a home’s attic or crawlspace and you’ll find yourself covered in a nice combination of spider webs, dirt, dust and more. We’ve spent plenty of time in these forgotten spaces, looking for the problems that make homeowners feel chilly during winter and uncomfortably hot during the summer.

Living on the Central Coast means that a dip in the Pacific Ocean for some relief from the fast approaching summer weather is usually just a quick drive away. And while there’s nothing quite like sifting your toes through wet sand or getting a lungful of that tasty ocean air, each trip to the coast can come at the cost of sandy car seats, extra laundry from towels and swimsuits and some quality time with the bottom of our feet to scrub away any stubborn tar stains.

There’s nothing quite as comforting as staying in a warm, cozy home all day while it’s pouring rain outside. And that same house can serve as a cool slice of paradise on a sweltering summer afternoon. Yes, our homes are highly adaptable, and if you’ve gone through the process of making your’s energy efficient, keeping the indoor climate in that sweet spot year round isn’t putting much of a tax on your wallet or the environment.

Now that the holiday decorations are packed away and that pesky New Year’s Eve confetti is finally swept up, many of us are going to take a look at how we can improve our lives in the New Year. While the typical resolution may take some of us to the gym, we’d all be surprised by how we can improve the comfort and efficiency of our homes – from the newly constructed or remodeled, to those dating back to the ‘60s.
      

Quick and Easy Ways You Can Save Energy at Home

You may not know it, but there are vampires in your home. Energy vampires that is. Computers, microwaves, cable boxes and other appliances that stay plugged in and suck electricity even when you aren’t using them.

Aside from a piping hot cup of Joe, there’s really nothing that compares to a warm, morning shower to get you ready for the day. But it’s not uncommon to cut that morning lather short as the water starts losing its fever and feels more like it’s being pumped straight from the Arctic.

As beautiful as the Central Coast is during the dog days of summer, you’re also sure to notice that it can get hot. And by hot, I mean on a bad day, it’s going to feel like you just opened the oven door to check on the pies no matter where you go.

As we prepare for little ghouls and goblins who’ll come to our doors this Halloween, it’s important to remember that the true terrors may be lurking inside your home -- just overhead -- ready to suck you (and your wallet) dry.

See that dust building up on your nightstand? Well before you reach for a rag, you may want to make a run to the hardware store for a caulking gun and a new filter for your furnace and air conditioning system, as this build-up could be a sign your home has some energy efficiency troubles that are luckily pretty easy to solve.

With Earth Day festivals getting bigger and bigger, you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement. Details on the latest wind farm technology are all over, and reusable shopping bags are at nearly every booth – yours for the taking. April is a celebration of all things conservation, but don’t forget that with a few simple steps, you can be thinking “Green” all year.

Central Coast, CA, Dec. 17, 2015 – It’s that time of year again to grab some eggnog and relax with friends and family as the year winds to a close. And luckily, making that extra effort to continue doing something good for the environment doesn’t mean you have to be a Grinch. Here are five tips to make this one jolly and green holiday season. Light up the candles - Create festive warmth in the room with candles that will add a warm glow at your next gathering. Even better are LED candles, which last much longer than their wax counterparts that need to be frequently replaced. Use LED Christmas
Easy ways to help the environment without skimping on holiday fun Ventura County, Nov. 16, 2015 – From gobbling down turkey to bathing the mashed potatoes in gravy, we all have our Thanksgiving traditions we. As you’re preparing for the big evening around the table or finalizing travel plans, why not introduce some new traditions that show how grateful you are for the beautiful community we live in. Eat local and organic. It’s hard to beat fruits and vegetables from Ventura County farmers. And buying from them also minimizes our carbon footprint and fossil fuels used for shipping, as well as