State energy efficiency program off to slow start

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An effort by California to spur the installation of energy efficiency retrofits in 100,000 homes by giving homeowners a rebate is off to a slow start.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1ccWKXR ) that in its first 3 years, Energy Upgrade California has given rebates to about 16,000 home and business projects.

The program offers up to $4,500 for replacement of old furnaces, fixes for leaky windows and other efficiency retrofits.

Consumer advocates have been critical of the program, which through 2012 spent more on startup costs and marketing than it did on rebates.

The program has so far spent at least $237 million in federal, local and ratepayer funds.

California energy officials say efficiency upgrades are a key to meeting California's greenhouse gas reduction goals.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com