WHAT WE RECOMMEND....(updated Nov 2019)

QUICKEN LOANS offers, IN ALL 50 STATES, a cash-back refinance loan, to give you the cash for an energy/water* efficiency retrofit/upgrade. An average cost would be about $25,000 for a full retrofit. The loan payback rate is between 4% and 5%.

Contact Quicken Loans client relations at 800-863-4332.

* water is now more scarce in the West and South, and parts of the Midwest, and uses energy to get it to our homes, as well.

In NORTHERN CA, there are 2 choices for other loans -

with ENERGY UPGRADE CA, call 866-878-6008, for a free Home Upgrade Advisor.

Their website is www.BayAreaEnergyUpgrade.org

for new reinstated PACE loans, available in 17 counties, now with Renewable Funding in Oakland, call 510-451-7900. Their website is www.renewfund.com.


The HERO LOAN, for Home Efficiency Retrofit Opportunities.

See details at www.heroprogram.com

15 out of the 19 cities in Contra Costa county now offer these loans.

If your city does not, give your City Hall a call, to request they join.


We recommend having an energy/water audit done on your home. This cost can be added to your loan.

Professionals to hire for audits, can be found at www.EfficiencyFirst.org -

a nation-wide non-profit. Look under, Find a Member Company, on its home page.

Also, refer to the list below, which is covered by energy retrofit loans in Sonoma county CA, to determine the approximate cost of your upgrade.

The MOST ENERGY IMPACT from this upgrade will come from upgrading to an Energy Star furnace, with upgraded ductwork, upgrading to a solar water heater or tankless heater, and Energy Star refrigerator, insulation in the attic, walls, and basement, and dual/triple pane window installations. And efficient pool heating too.

The MOST WATER IMPACT would be first: reducing your lawn by half with a drip system and low-water trees and plants - see Sunset magazine's new publication, Water-wise Gardening: 33 lush n0-lawn landscapes, 88 best plants for drought. 2nd most impact: upgrades to low-flow or dual flushes, and low-flow shower-heads and sink aerators. 3rd most impact: upgrading appliances to HE (high efficiency): water heater, washing machine and dishwasher.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS UPGRADE: it means cutting down on the use of energy in the residential building sector, considered the 'low hanging fruit' because homeowners have within their grasp, an easy way to save energy, while lowering carbon emissions significantly.

Doing an energy efficiency upgrade can REDUCE ENERGY USE by 30%, and by going with solar water heating and solar electric, CAN REDUCE ENERGY COSTS by 70%.

RESIDENTIAL HOUSE IS THE SECTOR MOST BEHIND IN THIS AREA.  More importantly, cutting down on carbon emissions from buildings, accounts for close to 50% of all US carbon emissions. THIS IS BIG!


THEN - homeowners are ready for clean energy applications.

We recommend SOLAR LEASING, with the following companies, with NO MONEY DOWN:

www.SolarCity.com - in AZ, CA, CO, CT, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR and PA.

www.Sungevity.com - in AZ, CA, CO, DE, MD, MA, NJ and NY.

As clients, we can get you a bonus as a new customer, with this code: 90579

www.SunRun.com - in AZ, CA, CO, CT, HI, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR and PA.

Small Wind and Geothermal applications are also available with an internet search.

We recommend a new small wind company, just launched in Dec 2013, called PRIMO WIND, 

based in SAN DIEGO. See www.PrimoWind.com.

OR - check our newest website for how CCAs are moving across the US, at

www.BeThe100percentChange.vpweb.com . We welcome your help in moving legislation in your state, and building these CCAs county by county, to move Renewables - solar and small wind - to get us on track for a low-carbon world.

PLEASE CHECK ONE OF OUR SISTER WEBSITES...with a menu of 17 ways to go low carbon in all aspects of your life, at www.LowCarbonPledge.vpweb.com

POSSIBLE LIST OF AN ENERGY/WATER EFFICIENCY UPGRADE, based on the current California AB811 program, currently in operation in Sonoma county CA and the city of Palm Desert CA...


  High efficient heating/cooling - look into hydronic heating

  Efficient water heaters - look into solar water heaters

  Cool roof systems

  Reflective roofs and coatings

  Attic & wall insulation

  Reflective/radiant barriers

  Whole house/attic fans

  High efficiency windows/doors

  Weatherstripping/window filming

  Efficient skylights/added natural light

  Solar tubes/paneling

  High efficient pool equipment

  Solar thermal for pool heating

  Electric vehicle plug-in stations

  High efficiency lighting installation

  Geothermal exchange heat pumps



    High efficiency toilets (including dual flush)

    Low flow shower heads/sink aerators

    Hot water delivery/recirculation systems

    On-demand hot water systems

    Manifold or core plumbing systems

    Hot water pipe insulation


    Evapotranspiration irrigation systems

      or smart irrigation controllers

    Permanent rainwater cisterns - also called rain harvesting

    Matched precipitation rate sprinkler heads

    High efficiency outdoor (drip) irrigation

Congratulations! You are on your way to being a VALUABLE example to the rest of your community....we call you a climate hero. Thank you for your efforts!