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electric meter

EVENT: Energy-savings program to help low-income residents

Are you interested in learning how to save energy and water while helping low-income families in our community?

Our new Energy Upgrade program will train volunteer “Energy Coaches”  to conduct in-home energy evaluations and offer education and advice on no- and low-cost upgrades aimed at helping cut energy- and water-use by more than $150 a year for Sarasota County families struggling with housing costs. Training starts July 19, so register now to reserve your spot.

Energy Upgrade program logoStudies show that more than 53,000 low-income families in Sarasota County are “cost burdened,” spending upward of 30 percent of monthly income on housing costs. The county aims to reach at least 2,000 of these households when the Energy Upgrade program launches.

The program will target low-income residents, focusing on those living in older, less-efficient homes across Sarasota County. The lowest-income residents in Sarasota County spend up to 19 percent of their income solely on energy bills, according to studies. By contrast, county homeowners and renters with incomes above the area median spend just 2-3 percent of their income on energy.

Volunteers will play a crucial role in the Energy Upgrade program. Anyone interested in becoming an Energy Coach must attend hands-on training of 20 hours across five sessions, beginning July 19. Topics include:

  • Green building basics
  • Solar energy basics
  • Building impacts on human health
  • Energy and water conservation techniques
  • How-to perform energy evaluations
  • Hands on in-home energy installs
  • Low and No-cost Energy Upgrade strategies
  • Financial assistance for energy improvements

This program is part of the county’s efforts to support housing affordability and financial stability for our residents most in need. Helping 2,000 low-income residents to reduce their utility bills is estimated to save $334,000 per year total for participating families, and also will improve air quality and reduce local emissions of carbon dioxide by 2,900 metric tons annually, roughly the same as removing 621 passenger vehicles from the roads.

Learn more about this exciting new program and register at rebrand.ly/ufsarasotaext_energycoach.

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