Contractor Newsletter - July 2020

SCEIP Financing News: Board of Supervisors Approve a Lower Interest Rate for SCEIP!

We are pleased to announce that the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) has been approved for an interest rate reduction from 7% to 5.99%!

It’s been a big year for SCEIP. In addition to the rate change, the Program expanded earlier this year and now includes a resiliency component for property owners to make improvements that will make their buildings resistant to wildfire and earthquake damage. There has never been a better time to offer a local alternative to traditional financing.

The new rate will take effect for any projects that request disbursement after August 12th.

New bonding year… No payments due until December 2021

SCEIP Assessments are added to the tax rolls once a year. Projects that disburse before August 11, 2020 will be added to the current year with the first payment due in December 2020. For those that disburse after the deadline, their assessments will be added to the 2021/22 tax rolls with their first payment due in December 2021.

While there is capitalized interest added (the amount of interest that accrues from the time of disbursement until billing), there is the added benefit of being able to recognize the potential utility savings for up to a year before needing to make that first payment.

Contact our office at (707) 565-6470 for additional details.

Project Spotlight: Fountaingrove Rebuild

Coupling SCEIP Financing with other funding sources to achieve maximum project goals…

I’m certainly no expert in the latest building trends, but I learned a lot visiting the site of one of our “fire rebuild” properties. The owner, who is using our Property Improvement Financing, greeted me with “welcome to the Three Little Pig’s House”.

As I approached the property I encountered what looked like a barn, a structure full of straw bales, it was actually the unfinished garage. The next thing I noticed was two huge burnt logs holding up the exterior entry, turns out they were burned posts from the original home, joined by two “newer” looking burnt posts that I learned came from the adjacent burned property – two cedar trees that were salvaged and gifted to the new structure by the former neighbors. The owner commented that he and his wife felt that walking through the “fire” that destroyed their home and community in order to enter the new home was healing.

I look forward to watching this home's journey, which started with a Better Building Consultation in our office which included a conversation about how SCEIP financing could be coupled with other sources to achieve the goals or expand the work scope of a project. I’ll leave the building techniques to our participating contractors, my expertise, and that of my co-workers, is building relationships! I look forward to more site visits, to meeting property owners that are excited to work with you and our program.

--Terri Somers, Program Specialist

Resources for Contractors: Free Tool Lending Library

The County of Sonoma Energy and Sustainability Division’s Tool Lending Library provides over 100 pieces of diagnostic testing equipment and other building tools to qualified contractors and energy professionals in Sonoma County. These no-cost resources allow contractors the opportunity to test their own systems and optimize installation quality and system performance.

For more information about the County of Sonoma Energy and Sustainability Division Tool Lending Library visit: http://WWW.SONOMACOUNTYENERGY.ORG/TLL

Tool Lending Library Accepting Reservations for Curbside Pick UP/Drop Off

COVID-19 Update: For the health and safety of our staff and our borrowers, the County of Sonoma Energy and Sustainability Office is currently not open to the public at this time. Tool pick up and drop off will be available through pre-scheduled curbside pick-up. Tool requests must be submitted by email a minimum of two full business days prior to the requested pick up date. Borrowers must wear a mask and respect social distancing protocols at all times during pick up and drop off.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Energy and Sustainability Division No-Cost Online Training

2019 Energy Code Insulation and Quality Insulation Installation (QII) Requirements Webinar

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 2-4PM

Registration Link is posted on our event calendar or call 707-565-6470 to register.

The target audience is building department staff, but information is also very valuable for contractors and building industry professionals.

Instructor: Amie Brousseau is an Energy Commission Specialist in the California Energy Commission’s Outreach and Education Unit.

Course Topics:

This course will provide an overview of the 2019 Energy Code insulation requirements for newly constructed buildings, as well as additions and alterations to existing buildings. Topics will include mandatory and prescriptive requirements, air leakage, quality insulation installation, U-factor efficiency requirements, and Energy Code resources. This training is presented by the County of Sonoma Energy and Sustainability Division in partnership with BayREN and RCPA.

BayREN Online and On-Demand Trainings

Keep up-to-date on what the inspectors are looking for…The BayREN Codes & Standards Program offers online short course trainings that engage building department staff and the building professionals they serve to increase understanding of developments in the Energy Code and promote best practices for compliance and enforcement. 

Sonoma Clean Power No-Cost Online Training

Homeowners, Are You Building or Remodeling? How to Achieve Your Resiliency and Energy Goals

Sonoma Clean Power Decarbonization Webinar Series

This class will describe what to ask for, when, and from whom during the building/remodeling process, along with some strategies and tools you can use to help make sure that your project achieves your energy, comfort, climate, and resilience goals.

PG&E Energy Training Center Classes

Free classes on a range of energy-related content. In-person classes have been canceled, but classes are continuing to be offered as webinars. 

Webinars in July and August include the following and more:

  • 7/28/ 2020 9AM-10:30 AM Demystifying Heat Pumps for New Construction

  • 8/6/2020 9AM-4:30 PM Window Selection for New and Existing Homes

  • 8/12/2020 9AM-4:30 PM Economics of Rooftop Solar and Storage

Not a Participating Contractor…

In addition to great content, participating contractors have access to training, marketing materials and website listing at no-cost. To learn how you can take advantage of these benefits contact our office at (707) 565-6470 or download the Contractor Standards and Guidelines.

Contact Information

Jane Elias

Division Manager

Energy and Sustainability Division

General Services Department

Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
La Plaza A
2300 County Center Drive
Suite A105
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.46242, -122.725426