SonomaCountyRecovers: Official recovery information for Sonoma County fires

Green Building Incentives & Resources

The process of rebuilding after the wildfires offers property owners the opportunity to make their new homes more energy efficient and sustainable. Investing in energy efficient design and building from the ground up will pay dividends for decades to come, for you and your community, and increase the value of your investment.

It is crucial to incorporate the latest green and sustainable technologies and designs into your project from the beginning. Below are resources that will help you do just that, including financial incentives that could dramatically lower the costs of making your new home more energy efficient and more comfortable and use less water, inside and out. For example, there are both environmental and financial benefits for installing a solar system on your home or business.

Sustainability is defined as meeting existing needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The County’s Energy and Sustainability Division can assist you in assessing your situation and help with developing a plan to make your new home as green as possible.

Green Building is a “whole systems” approach for designing and constructing buildings.  Read more about Green Building and available forms, including the 2016 Green Building Checklist

Santa Rosa’s Resilient City Permit Center and Sonoma County’s Resiliency Permit Center is where you will go to get your expedited building permits for your fire rebuilding project. They are experts on Green Building codes and ordinances and have a wealth of information on how to make your new home as efficient as possible.

Advanced Energy Rebuild Incentives

Incentives are available for property owners in Sonoma and Mendocino counties who are rebuilding homes lost in the October 2017 wildfires. Receive up to $17,500 in incentives for including energy efficient features and equipment, renewable energy systems, electric vehicle charging stations, and water-efficient landscaping in your design.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) have partnered together to offer an integrated incentive program that gives customers access to multiple funding sources through one application process.

Sign up for more information and program updates.

Review available incentive options

Free Training Workshops on Energy Features

The County’s Energy and Sustainability Division and Sonoma Clean Power are partnering with PG&E to offer five workshops on energy features. The classes are free and are held at the North Coast Builders Exchange in Santa Rosa on Friday afternoons beginning on April 27 with Design Thinking for Zero Net Energy. For a list of the workshops and how to register, use this link.

Free Rebuilding Consultations

If you or someone you know has lost their home and is planning a rebuild, the County’s Energy and Sustainability Division offers no-cost consulting with on-staff energy analysts.

A home built to current codes today will be a more energy-efficient home than one built 50, 20 or even 10 years ago, says Energy and Sustainability analyst Christine Condon – one of the specialists at the County. But, she says, home builders can do a lot more to make their new home compliant with future California Green Building codes. In addition, there are incentives for meeting and exceeding energy mandates.

The consultations are available at any point in the building process. However, there are many considerations available during the planning phase. The goal is to help make homeowners aware of the effectiveness and the positive impact the current energy code has in regard to creating better buildings and to stress how new construction offers a very unique opportunity to incorporate high performance measures into a home’s design at a much lower cost than during a retrofit of an existing home. Also reviewed are the building requirements needed to access rebates and incentives.

Call (707) 565-6470 to make an appointment or learn more. The Energy and Sustainability Division has a variety of tools to help you with your rebuild.

Features to Consider When Rebuilding

Updated building codes have created healthier, safer homes that resist extreme weather, are more durable and are less expensive to operate. This list from BayRen includes additional measures to consider that can be incorporated into a new home’s design to create a more resilient home that can better withstand whatever comes its way.

Other Resources

Sonoma Clean Power

FireSafe Sonoma

Sonoma-Marin Water Saving Partnership

Department of Energy

North Coast Builders Exchange

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