HOPE Raises Funds for Affordable Counseling

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2018-10-31

(L-R) River City Brewing Company owners Steve Cuneo and Beth Biro celebrate at the Hops for HOPE fundraiser with Darlene Davis, executive director of HOPE, and HOPE board members Margaux Helm, Susan Armstrong, Ann Leber, and Shannon Dickson.

HOPE Raises Funds for Affordable Counseling

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The second annual Hops for HOPE fundraiser was held on October 4 at Carmichael’s Milagro Centre, hosted by River City Brewing Company and HOPE. Community donations help support HOPE’s mission to offer affordable counseling sessions to those in need and allows the organization to train new therapists to serve the community.

The owners of River City Brewing Company, Steve Cuneo and Beth Biro, are happy to support the mission of HOPE. “We’ve known Darlene [Davis, executive director of HOPE,] a long time. We did HOPE’s fundraising event last year, and we’re happy to do it again. The event brings attention to the Milagro Centre and raises money for an important local cause,” said Cuneo.

Davis said that most of the staff members of HOPE weren’t able to attend the event because they were busy in counseling sessions; evenings are prime time because it is more convenient for clients to meet after work. But Davis was happy to see in attendance many prior employees who worked for HOPE during their training and are now licensed therapists in private practice.

Traci Bianchi-Templin, now a licensed marriage and family therapist, described her time working at HOPE, stating, “Darlene was a wonderful supervisor, and it was so rewarding to serve the community, be part of a family, and help train the next generation of therapists. It was a wonderful experience to address the community’s mental health needs while working in such a supportive environment, which is why I still support the organization.”

HOPE board member Shannon Dickson knew Davis from their involvement in the MFT Consortium, which offers stipends to students seeking advanced degrees in mental health higher education. Dickson explained why she was compelled to join the board of HOPE: “As a psychologist, I am interesting in ensuring that mental health services are affordable and accessible, and HOPE does that.”

When Davis asked Margaux Helm to join the board, Helm was already very familiar with the organization and knew that HOPE is an important part of the community because of both the affordable services and the training of future therapists. Helm used to be the director of WEAVE, and “we would need alternate places to refer people, and HOPE offered affordable services.” Helm also taught at California State University Sacramento in the graduate counselor education program and helped coordinate student internships at HOPE.

Helm revealed that Davis was recently awarded the Distinguished Clinical Member Award from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. “She’s a great therapist, and a great leader, and she won’t brag about it,” said Helm.  

Not all attendees were previously familiar with HOPE’s mission. Carmichael locals Peter and Kitti Ruttan bought tickets at the door on the evening of the event. “We saw it in the paper and thought, ‘Well, we can give to a charity and drink beer,’ so we just decided to do it,” said Peter Ruttan.  

Kitti Ruttan was interested in attending specifically because it was a fundraising event. The Ruttans just recently moved to Carmichael, and Kitti Ruttan said, “After moving to a new community, I think it’s important to get involved and give back to the community.” They are especially cognizant of the necessity for affordable mental health services because both of their children have struggled with mental health issues.  

Davis thanked everyone in attendance for their support, and commended the donors for their generosity. She also had a special message of thanks for the members of the board, who “have helped grow HOPE to what it is today.” Davis hopes to expand the fundraiser next year with a raffle and live musical entertainment to increase turnout.

For more information about HOPE, or to donate directly to the organization, visit their website at www.hope-counselingcenter.org.

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Rancho Cordova Library Has a Really Cool New Look

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-10-31

“Patrons have asked for Sunday hours for twenty years,” said Jill Stockinger, MLS, Library Supervisor

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Many changes greeted patrons who returned to the reopened and newly remodeled Rancho Cordova Library. The first change patrons who showed up Monday, October 1 noticed was that the library was open. Rancho Cordova Library joins several other county libraries offering Sunday and Monday service. The new hours will provide more opportunities for patrons to use and enjoy all the library has to offer, which is considerable. Every Sunday afternoon through November, Sakuramento Anime Society will present classic and modern anime movies.   

                “Patrons have asked for Sunday hours for twenty years,” said Jill Stockinger, MLS, Library Supervisor, who expects traffic and circulation to increase. Currently, she said, they are in the top five for circulation out of the 28 system-wide libraries. The top two, she added, had already been open six days a week.

                Patrons may find that some of their favorite materials have been moved. Biography has its own section as does urban fiction, graphic novels, and other genres, another feature Stockinger said patrons requested. Newspapers have their own shelves, and foreign language books have been alphabetized by language. The Friends of the Library book sale has moved to an alcove with better lighting, replaced by Lucky Day and new releases. The self-checkout has been relocated opposite the circulation desk and offers more privacy.               

                Gone are the brightly colored walls and mustard shelving. A hint of green colors the walls, and all shelves have been repainted oyster. Each book, CD, DVD, and other shelved materials were removed and reshelved during September’s month-long closure. Hard surface flooring replaces carpet in front of the high traffic circulation desk, which also sports new countertops and ergonomically correct workstations.

                “Staff is thrilled with the remodel and most patrons walking in love it,” said Stockinger.

                One new feature that excites Stockinger very much is the wheelchair accessible catalog station. A shelf slides out so that the wheelchair can fit under and patrons can access the catalog themselves instead of requiring staff assistance.

                Rancho Cordova Library is one of only three system-wide with “We Speak” communication tablets available for non-verbal or less-verbal patrons. It also boasts the only collection of Korean language newspapers and books that are donated by the Sacramento Valley Korean America Community. Children’s books include Russian, Spanish, Korean, and Braille. And the general DVD collection is a global smorgasbord featuring films in Swedish, Tagalog, Malaysian, Hungarian, and many others.

                Not all changes could be completed during the closure. A new Veterans Resource Station is being fitted to the space and will be installed when it arrives, she said, but it is currently open Tuesdays and Thursday from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and staffed by trained volunteers and veterans. Quarterly meetings with staff from Congressman Ami Bera’s office help remove roadblocks for veterans and their families.

                 “We serve more vets than any other city in California,” said Stockinger.

                Volunteers are an asset in other areas and include Jesuit High students assisting elementary school students with homework, book shelvers, and Friends of the Library member who run the book sale and donate funds for new books and additional library programming.

                “We could not do all our programming without the Friends,” said Stockinger.

                The library’s calendar is filled with programming for just about every interest, but there’s a special emphasis on garden events like the monthly garden club for adults. The October program featured Judith Yisrael of The Yisrael Family Urban Farm who demonstrated how to make Swiss chard pesto and beet hummus. Teen librarian Susanna Wesenfeld hosts the monthly event and said she’s glad to be back at the library so she can return to the gardening programs with children and teens that take place in the Read & Feed Garden.

                Basil, tomato, eggplant, squash varieties, corn, and sunflowers are among the crops grown and harvested by young patrons.  Following story time, children and parents are invited to the vegetable garden for hands-on garden activities. Older kids, she said, attend garden lab where they learn vertical gardening and composting. Their first task, since the library had been closed for a month, was to remove dead plants and begin composting.

                Wesenfeld is launching an after school book club on October 17, a story walk on October for patrons to “follow and read story pages throughout the library and then go to the garden.” STEM activities, Minecraft, and Read to a Dog are some of the other programs she hosts. For additional information, visit: www.saclibrary.org. or www.saclibrary.org/Locations/Rancho-Cordova. If you’re going: 9845 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95827.

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10th Annual CruiseFest Lights Up the Streets

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-10-31

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento’s largest block party celebrating cars and car culture shut down Fulton Avenue between El Camino and Marconi Saturday, October 6. For a few hours, people set aside concerns, put down signs, and left protests outside of the 10th annual CruiseFest, because, it seemed from the smiling faces, laughter, and dancing in the streets and parking lots, everyone loves a block party with cars. And there were cars to be seen, touched, admired, purchased, and to bring back memories. Metropolitans, Porsches, Fords, Chevys, Pontiacs, Plymouths, Jeeps, and even dune buggies showed off their best. Not all of the 360 registered vehicles cruised. That number, up from 2017, was forty cars shy of the cap, according to Fulton Avenue Association Executive Director Melinda Eppler.

CruiseFest is a car show equalizer welcoming any make, model, year, or type when most shows set criteria based on those or other factors. It’s rare to see Porsches in a show alongside Gremlins, the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, or a replica of the ambulance used in Ghostbusters, the 1984 movie starring Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd.

 “It is a true celebration of Northern California’s car culture,” said Delta Pick Mello, Executive Director of California Automobile Museum.

No car show or street festival is complete without the all-important soundtrack, which was ever-changing along Fulton Avenue. Every few paces, the music shifted from classic to alternative rock courtesy of 96.9 The Eagle and ALT 94.7 to hip hop from a passing muscle car to surf music to classic R&B with a side of Rolling Stones, Bill Withers, and Tommy James and the Shondells.

Every parking lot, both sides of Fulton, and along both sides of the median housed cars. Sidewalks and streets were jam-packed with the estimated several thousand spectators who walked, rolled, strolled, and sat along Fulton, often roaming out into the street and occasionally joining the procession or receiving goodies from passing vehicles. Families, couples, children, even dogs were part of the event and seemed to enjoy the warm, blustery afternoon. Even bicyclists and skateboarders dropped in on the fun.

Participating car clubs included Sacramento Area Miata owners Association, Porsche Club of America-Sac Valley Region, 356 California Alta Region, Metropolitan Club-Capital Chapter, Northern CA Pontiac GTO Club, Burgiemen Capitol City Car Club, Early Ford V8 Club-Sacramento Region, Capital City Mopars, Sacramento Area Mustangs, and the always-popular lowriders club, Family First. Individuals, businesses, and corporations also showed and cruised. Parked along the east side of Fulton, behind a giant blue Volvo with roll cage, were the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile and Planter’s Peanuts Nutmobile. Further down Fulton were the Radio Fiyer Red Wagon and Tribute Team American Graffiti cars.

Vehicles flashed their colors – aqua, metallic flake, red, flames, purple, rust, blue, yellow, and one white car with Marilyn Monroe’s image painted on its hood. Others sported colorful rims and wheels. Many had displays showing the vehicle’s restoration. And some highlighted power and what was under the hood. Chrome shone and waxed cars provided an alternate view of the party through gleaming reflections.

As they made the U-turn at Marconi, some cars meandered by, taking their time, slow and proper as a beauty queen coming down the runway. Others strutted, head held high, like top models wearing their designer best. A few made sure to be heard above the music and voices, showcasing their power. And many made the turn with little fanfare.

 “I used to drive one of those,” said a woman when the purple Gremlin began the southbound journey. “I didn’t know they still existed,” said a man.

Booths, pop-up boutiques, food trucks, California Highway Patrol, and Sacramento Children’s museum lined the street. Asia Market & Restaurants’ parking lot became a dance party, courtesy of James Powell and his 1971 Cutlass playing R & B dance tunes from waterproof boat speakers installed in the engine compartment.

At times, the event seemed to be all about the children who could be found at Sacramento Children’s Museum’s booth in front of the Assistance League’s Fabulous Finds on Fulton shop. Molly Mix, the museum’s program manager, was on hand teaching kids how to play the kazoo and use the catapult to launch Leo.

                “You’re never too old for a kaleidoscope, catapults, or flip car racing,” she said.

Also set up there were California Highway Patrol officer Amy Walker and senior volunteer John Harris who were giving teddy bears to children and offering child safety tips and identification information.

                Further down, a woman said, “Hey look, it’s the Porsche lot.

                “Every kind of Porsche you could think of,” said another.

It seemed like every type of vehicle imaginable was on hand, including a golf cart doubling as the Zombie Outbreak Response Vehicle. This was the event’s seventh year on Fulton Avenue and is hosted by Fulton Avenue Association for California Automobile Museum, which showcased many vehicles from its collection.

 “We are very grateful to our volunteers and our sponsors, especially the Fulton Avenue Association for supporting and hosting this event,” wrote Mello in an email.

                For additional information, visit: www.calautomuseum.org. If you go: 2200 Front Street, Sacramento, CA 95818.

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SOFIA Pilots Present to Standing Room Only Crowd

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-10-31

“You can learn if you put in the effort,” said Ruth, adding that NASA is a team.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – A standing-room only crowd of adults, college students, teens, and children gathered Saturday, September 29, at the Aerospace Museum of California, a Smithsonian affiliate, to hear Liz Ruth and Ace Beall talk about what they say is the coolest job in the air – piloting SOFIA, the largest flying observatory in the world. SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) is a modified Boeing 747SP that once belonged to Pan Am World Airlines, was sold to United Airlines in 1986, then sold to NASA in 1997. The plane is stationed at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, not far from where Ruth grew up.

                She is currently the only female pilot to fly the SOFIA as an active observatory. After a career that included serving in the Air Force piloting the T-38 jet trainer and T-43 flying classroom; as flight officer for United on B737-300, B757, B767, and B777 aircraft; raising a family; and serving as a legislative assistant, she returned to the pilot’s seat in 2016 when she joined NASA. She earned her Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embrey-Riddle Aeronautical University’s McClellan campus and was stationed at Mather Air Force Base.

                SOFIA flies just over 500 mph with a range of nearly 7500 miles. Flight and mission crews are joined by scientists, observers, or educators. Although up to 30 people can be accommodated, that is rare they said. SOFIA’s lineage dates to 1968 when a Learjet was fit with a one foot diameter telescope, replaced in 1975 by a modified Lockheed C-141A Starlifter with a 2 ½ foot diameter telescope. SOFIA was put into operation in 2010, boasts an 8 ½ foot diameter telescope, and flew its first mission in 2011.

                Beall, who didn’t let a technology glitch that interrupted the slide show keep him from discussing SOFIA’s telescope specifications, flew as a space shuttle carrier pilot during much of his thirty five year NASA career. His first ferry flight was in 1984, and the former Air Force T-38 instructor found himself, through a bit of luck of being in the right place at the time, working for NASA and as a pilot flying the T-38 again. Although he retired from NASA in 2005, he kept flying and flew SOFIA until last year when age restrictions took him out of the pilot’s seat.

                Although Beall never flew with Ruth, they both discussed various missions which change nightly. A typical mission, Ruth said, might take her up to Canada and back, then to Mexico and back, then to the East Coast and back. SOFIA crisscrosses the air for the duration of the ten or so hours that crew and scientists are in the air.

                “The flight patterns drove air traffic controllers crazy,” she said, showing a map of North America with what might have passed for a toddler’s scribbles or a Jackson Pollock painting.

                Missions, which begin at sunset and end before sunrise, are driven by the scientists on board. Two or three scientists with specific and different projects each need to be at specific locations at specific times. It is the pilot’s job to make sure that the flight takes off at exactly the right time and arrives at each location at exactly the right time. That isn’t as easy as it might seem. The 2015 Pluto Occultation was an example, as Beall explained, adding that it was sort of like an eclipse

                “The trick was to be in the right place at the right time,” he said. “SOFIA was the only one to get to the center of the occultation.”

                The plane typically flies above the Earth’s water vapor line because the telescope needs to be in dry conditions and permits scientists to study the hidden aspects of space, to learn about the birth and death of stars, and to figure out how it all works, they said. SOFIA uses over 200,000 gallons of fuel per flight and weighs more than one half ton at takeoff. Ruth and Beall responded to many audience questions who wanted to know how SOFIA could be improved, what the pilots eat during the mission, why they wear those uniforms, whether safety belts were used, and how to get on one of the flights as a teacher. “You have to apply,” Ruth said.

                “You can learn if you put in the effort,” said Ruth, adding that NASA is a team effort with jobs in many fields – accountants, public affairs, photographers, mechanics, and is not just for astronauts or pilots.

                Beall suggested finding something you love to do, do a good job, don’t make enemies, and admit when you’ve messed up.

                The lecture, on the heels of the museum’s first teacher night, is one of eight events at the Aerospace Museum between now and Christmas, said Tom Jones, the museum’s director, which include a three day tribute to veterans, a visit by Mad Science, movies, and its newest exhibit, “Our Solar System: An Interactive Journey Exhibit.”

                For additional information on Aerospace Museum of California, visit: https://aerospaceca.org. For additional information on SOFIA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/SOFIA/index.html.

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Hawaiian Chieftain Returns to Sacramento

By Zachary Stocks  |  2018-10-31

The historic vessel to offer tours and sails at Old Sacramento, Nov 1 - Nov 24
Hawaiian Chieftain, photo by Rick Horn

The historic vessel to offer tours and sails at Old Sacramento, Nov 1 - Nov 24

Hawaiian Chieftain, photo by Rick Horn

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - History will come alive in Sacramento this October as
the tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain makes her return trip to town. The tall ship, part of the Aberdeen-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, sails the waters of the Pacific each year along with its companion vessel Lady Washington, offering educational programs, free deck tours, and sailing trips.

From November 1st through the 24th, Hawaiian Chieftain will be docked at Old Sacramento, (1210 Front St.). On weekdays schools can reserve a trip aboard the tall ship for the Historical Seaport's one-of-a-kind maritime heritage field trip Voyage of Explorers. On weekday evenings and weekends the tall ship is open to the general public for stationary dockside Vessel Tours for a $5 suggested donation. Hawaiian Chieftain can also be Chartered for private events including weddings and workplace team builders.

The steel hulled Hawaiian Chieftain was launched in 1988 in Lahaina, Hawaii. Together with Lady Washington, the tall ships are among the most active educational boats in America, visiting approximately 40 ports each year. The tall ships offer a glimpse into our historic past, introducing people of all ages to the sights and sounds of 18th and 19th century maritime life.

Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is an educational non-profit based in Aberdeen, Washington. In addition to school programs and public sailing, the tall ships are also active sail training vessels. Anyone over age 16 is eligible to join the crew through the Two Weeks Before the Mast volunteer sailing program. Those pursuing a career in the commercial maritime industry can also consider enrolling in the Historical Seaport's Sea School Northwest, a job training program to provide knowledge and mentorship for professional maritime fields.

If you're ready to run away to sea, or want to know more about the tall ships and their programs, please visit www.historicalseaport.org.


Sacramento Schedule: Public Tours (Weekly) Tuesday - Friday, 4:00 - 5:00 ($5 suggested donation) or Saturday, 10:00 - 1:00 ($5 suggested donation) VESSEL TOURS UNAVAILABLE: November 10 (Saturday) and November 17 (Saturday)

The vessel will be docked at Old Sacramento, 1210 Front Street, Sacramento CA 95814. For directions and schedule information, please call (800) 200-5239.

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SPCA Comes to the Rescue

By Sarah Varanini, SPCA  |  2018-10-31

The shelter transport arrived back at the Sacramento SPCA Friday evening. Photo courtesy SPCA

Welcomes displaced dogs affected by Hurricane Michael

SACRAMENTO Region, CA (MPG) – Hurricane Michael recently displaced more than just families. It also displaced many pets in need of immediate care. On Friday, October 19, the Sacramento SPCA received fifteen dogs transferred from shelters in Florida impacted by Hurricane Michael.

Employees from the Sacramento SPCA drove their new animal transfer vehicle, which was purchased through a grant from PetSmart Charities, to Kettleman City on Friday morning to meet staff from San Diego Humane Society.  In collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States, the San Diego Humane Society arranged for a transfer of 93 dogs from three shelters located in Florida to create space for animals displaced by Hurricane Michael.

The shelter transport arrived back at the Sacramento SPCA Friday evening.  “After the dog’s arrival, our priority was getting them comfortable and settled into their new housing,” said Sacramento SPCA Animal Services Practice Manager, Karalyn Aronow.  “Medical assessments and close observation of the animals will continue over the next week to determine when they will be available for adoption”.

The dogs are medium to large-sized mixed breeds, primarily consisting of lab, pit bull, and hound mixes under five years of age.  Ten of the fifteen dogs are Heartworm positive and will undergo Heartworm treatment.

The incoming pets are not direct victims of Hurricane Michael. They are adoptable dogs who have been in animal shelters in the Florida Panhandle area. They were transported out of the area to create room for pets who have been lost, strayed or abandoned due to the hurricane.

“The category 4 storm that recently devastated the Florida Panhandle and the record-setting wildfire season in California are harsh reminders of how important disaster preparedness is for us and our pets,” said Sacramento SPCA CEO, Kenn Altine.  “I witnessed, first-hand, the devastation and displacement of families and pets impacted by natural disasters while helping with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005, and even closer to home this August, while assisting Haven Humane Society with relief efforts during the Carr Fire”

These reminders come just as the California Department of Water Resources encourages communities to participate in Flood Preparedness Week.  Local preparedness events and exercises are being held throughout the state to educate communities on what to do during extreme weather events.

A Flood Preparedness Funfair will be held in Sacramento at the Miller Regional Park on Saturday, October 27 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.  In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), California Department of Water Resources (DWR), and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), event attendees will learn how keep their family and pets safe during an emergency, fill sandbags, find evacuation routes, sign up for emergency alerts, and watch rescuers in action as they perform water rescues.

Founded in 1894, the Sacramento SPCA has been providing homeless animals with individual comfort, shelter, and love for more than 124 years.  They provide compassionate medical care to tens of thousands of animals annually and offer a variety of programs and services designed to keep people and pets together for life.

More Information: www.sspca.org

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SMUD and D.R. Horton Agree to Build All-electric Homes

SMUD Special Release  |  2018-10-31

Electric utility aims to reduce greenhouse gases through “electrification”

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - SMUD and top national homebuilder D.R. Horton are teaming up to build 104 all-electric homes in two new neighborhoods. These “all-electric communities” – “Juniper,” which is planned to include 66 homes, and “Independence," which is anticipated to include 38 homes, are both located in North Natomas and will be priced for first-time homebuyers. The homes are included in the SMUD Smart Home program and are part of a broader electrification effort by SMUD, the first of its kind in the USA.

Groundbreaking for the subdivisions began earlier this summer. The model homes are completed, and the communities are open for sale. Construction will continue through 2019. If built as planned, SMUD will provide $466,000 in incentives to D.R. Horton for including appliances and equipment to make the homes all-electric. These include heat pump heating and cooling, heat pump water heating, and induction stoves—appliances that are typically more energy efficient and can deliver lower overall energy bills.

Heat pump water heaters can reduce electricity use by up to 60 percent compared to electric resistance water heaters. Instead of using electricity to create heat, heat pump water heaters use a refrigerant cycle to transfer heat from surrounding ambient air into the hot water tank. They also cool the area where they are located, usually in the garage. Induction stoves may cook 50 percent faster than electric resistance stoves, and often as fast as gas. They also use less energy than traditional electric stoves and offer digital control of the temperature, and they have no open flame. The absence of combustion in all-electric homes may result in greater occupant safety.

These homes will help community-owned SMUD meet its aggressive commitment to reach 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and surpass the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals of 80 percent by 2050.

These D.R. Horton homes are part of the SMUD Smart Home program, which offers incentives to builders and developers of up to $5,000 for new single-family homes, and up to $1,750 for new multifamily units, built to be all-electric. The homes must have all-electric appliances and mechanical systems—no gas line in the home, and no gas service at the property—in order to meet the minimum program participation requirements.

SMUD customers who own existing homes in the SMUD service territory can also qualify for up to $13,750 for existing homes that convert from gas to electricity. For example, owners of existing homes may receive up to a $4,500 incentive to replace an existing gas furnace by installing an electric heat pump space heater. A homeowner may receive up to a $3,000 rebate to switch out an existing gas water heater for an electric heat pump water heater.

There are also rebates available from SMUD for traditional efficiency measures such as duct sealing, insulation, and windows.

More information about SMUD’s all-electric conversion incentives and other energy-saving information is available at SMUD.org.

Source: SMUD Media

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