"Energy Efficiency is at the heart of energy affordability." Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation

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PG&E Participates in Launch of Program to Assist Home Energy-Efficiency Efforts

SACRAMENTO – A new program announced today (Oct. 23) will help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient, create jobs and benefit the environment.

The Residential Energy Retrofit Program, which has more than $20 million in private financing available, was announced by U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento). She was joined by Steve Malnight, PG&E’s vice president of customer energy solutions, at the event at Five Star Bank on Del Paso Road in Sacramento. PG&E has contributed $1 million to the program.

 The program is sponsored by the California Rural Home Mortgage Finance Authority Homebuyers Fund (CHF). Besides PG&E, representatives from Five Star Bank and the Andrew McAllister of the California Energy Commission (CEC) participated in the announcement.

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“Public private partnerships such as this represent the many positive benefits that can occur when businesses and the government work together to achieve common goals, such as creating jobs, lowering consumer energy costs and meeting our state’s ambitious energy efficiency goals,” said Matsui.  “Today’s announcement builds upon the success of a Recovery Act Program where federal funding provided the much needed capital to create a program to assist homeowners in making their homes more comfortable and energy efficient, while putting contractors back to work.”

The new program stems from a program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  That program, the Moderate Income Sustainable Technology program (MIST), originally received $16.5 million of State Energy Program funds via ARRA. Due to its success, the program was allocated an additional $12 million in funding from the state Energy Commission.

More than 1,050 homeowners throughout California received assistance with home energy upgrades from the program.

“Homeowners need accessible, affordable financing to improve the comfort of their homes,” said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister.  “We believe this program will help participating contractors and their customers execute high-value upgrades, one California home at a time.”

Given the success of the MIST program, CHF and the CEC pursued a sustainable avenue to continue assisting homeowners in making energy efficiency improvements on their homes to reduce energy costs.  Five Star Bank signed on to the program and announced that they are making $20 million in loan financing available to eligible homeowners for home improvements.  Also joining the venture is PG&E, with an initial commitment of $1 million to begin implementing the program, thus expanding the program to PG&E customers in 44 California counties.

This story originally appeared on pgecurrents.com.