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San Luis Obispo County residents have a new tool for energy savings

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A pilot program aimed at increasing the number of energy efficient homes in Santa Barbara County, has now expanded to include much more of the Central Coast.

The program is called emPower and is designed to help homeowners discover what's inefficient about their homes, and then how to to fix the problems.

The assistant director of the county's Planning and Building Department Kami Griffin says, the program can even help with how to pay.

"The county of Santa Barbara partnered with local banks, credit unions to work out the financing," says Griffin. " So you are not having to put your house on the line in order to get the financing which is typically how you would get financing. These are unsecured loans."

In the case of both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Countiess, CoastHills Federal Credit Union was the financial institution that partnered with the program to handle the loans.

Home upgrade projects can include everything from weather stripping, up to installing solar, which can mean some significant energy savings.

The program is paid for through a variety of federal and state energy funding.