Sonoma Clean Power is opening an Advanced Energy Center (AEC) in downtown Santa Rosa. This will be a place where the public can learn about, test, and purchase the best in energy-efficient technology for their homes.
In 2018, we received an EPIC grant from the California Energy Commission to help bring energy efficiency and emerging technologies directly to our customers in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. We have developed a handful of strategies aimed at doubling the energy efficiency of existing buildings under the all-encompassing program name, Lead Locally. The most significant component of the program is, without question, the AEC.
The AEC will feature a large demonstration area that will house a variety of technologies that customers can install in their own homes. This includes heating and air conditioning systems, induction stovetops, daylighting retrofits, insulation materials, heat pump water heaters, daily use appliances, battery storage, and more. With multiple innovative energy (and money) saving technologies to choose from, customers can find the best fit for their home and budget.
The unique hub of products will allow the public to physically feel and test these emerging technologies, see the measurable energy-saving and financial benefits, ask questions to qualified staff, and quickly schedule an installation appointment with a certified contractor.
The AEC’s Contractor Matching Tool will help direct customers to local, certified contractors who can properly install each technology. With this tool, customers will also be able to fairly compare pricing, bundle incentives, and view other customer ratings and experiences.
Most technologies at the AEC will be new to the energy market, so we will be providing educational and certification courses for designers and contractors. After completing a certification course, contractors and installers will be added to a certified installers list.
We understand that cost is a barrier to adopting energy-efficient technologies and the upfront investment can be difficult to manage. SCP is hoping to offer an On-Bill Finance program that will allow customers to install a new product in their home with little-to-no upfront cost.
By paying for the product over-time through one’s monthly utility bill, rather than needing to pay for it all out-of-pocket, customers can get the technologies installed and begin receiving the benefits of a lower energy bill as soon as possible.
We truly believe that educating our youth is crucial to solving climate change. That’s why the AEC will have an entire area dedicated to educating our K-12 visitors. The space will have its own library equipped with computers and resources to help the next generation learn about climate change, renewable energy, and environmental stewardship.
Sonoma Clean Power is incredibly excited about this new center and the opportunities it will bring to the community. We hope you are, too!
To learn more, visit our Lead Locally webpage.