LOS ANGELES - Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County has announced the launch of a limited-time increased incentive for energy-saving home upgrades. From now through Labor Day, homeowners who achieve at least 20 percent energy savings through qualified home energy improvements performed by a participating Energy Upgrade California contractor can receive $2,000 back from Los Angeles County. In addition, local utilities are offering up to $4,000 back through Energy Upgrade California, which means that LA County homeowners may receive a total incentive of $6,000.

“Southern California’s summer heat inevitably brings higher costs for cooling your home, so this is an ideal time to consider energy-saving home upgrades,” said Howard Choy, general manager of the Los Angeles County Office of Sustainability. “It’s our hope that the increased incentives offered this summer encourage more LA county residents to take advantage of energy improvements that will help them save money, create more comfortable indoor environments, and contribute to our county-wide energy-efficiency efforts as we head into the hot summer months of high energy use.”

The Energy Upgrade California in LA County program rolled out to residents in early 2011 to provide LA County homeowners who make energy-saving home improvements with rebates and incentives of up to $4,500 - in addition to savings on monthly utility bills. Now, for a limited time, homeowners can receive incentives of up to $6,000, funded by an increase of $1,500 in the incentives provided by LA County. Energy Upgrade home improvements that qualify for rebates and incentives include HVAC upgrades, tankless water heaters, insulation, sealing, energy-efficient windows, and other “fixed” improvements. The program emphasizes a whole house approach, rather than installing individual improvements, as the most efficient and effective way to save money on energy bills and qualify for the maximum rebate available.

Upgrades such as sealing and insulating a home can maximize the efficiency of a new air conditioner or whole house fan, creating a cooler, more comfortable home and helping to save on energy costs. Officials also noted that homes that have undergone energy efficiency upgrades can often use smaller air conditioners than those that have not, so homeowners considering the purchase of a new a/c unit should look into making energy efficiency improvements before they buy to save money now and in the future.

The increased summer rebate is retroactive for homeowners who have already begun upgrades through the Energy Upgrade California program and is available while funds last or through Labor Day 2011. After Labor Day, the LA County rebate will return to its original amount of $500, and homeowners will be eligible for a maximum of $4,500 in incentives. For more information about qualified upgrades and available incentives, program guidelines, and finding a participating contractor, visit energyupgradeca.com/LA County before beginning upgrade work.

In order to be eligible for all rebates and incentives, energy efficiency upgrades must be performed by an Energy Upgrade California participating contractor. Through the Energy Upgrade California website, homeowners will be directed to the list of participating contractors trained in energy efficiency upgrades.

Energy Upgrade California incentives and rebates will vary in the cities of Los Angeles, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Long Beach, Vernon, and Azusa; however, the utilities serving those cities are developing their Energy Upgrade programs for 2011 and some utility energy efficiency retrofit rebates/incentives are available. Call the LA County hotline at 877-785-2237 for specific information for the county rebate in these cities.

Publication date:06/27/2011