Energy Upgrade California™ Home Upgrade

Brian Crawford, Community Development Agency
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Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Rebate Program

Energy Upgrade California™ Home Upgrade is a state-wide energy efficiency rebate program for homeowners that are looking to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. Eligible measures include improving insulation, upgrading the furnace and duct system, upgrading the hot water heater, installing efficient windows, and more.

Right now, Marin homeowners are eligible for up to $6,800 in rebates for making their homes more comfortable and energy efficient.

There are two different paths for the rebate program that have different rules and rebate amounts. To learn more, continue reading or call (866) 878-6008 to speak with a Home Upgrade Advisor. The Home Upgrade Advisors provide free one-to-one assistance for anyone in the Bay Area looking to improve the efficiency in their home. If you are ready to get started, you can browse the list of certified program contractors here.

Advanced Home Upgrade

The Advanced Home Upgrade Rebate is for homeowners that are looking to do the most work and receive the biggest rebate for their project. This rebate option reaches up to $6,500 and is based on the percentage of energy efficiency increase to your home resulting from your project. The more energy your project saves, the bigger the rebate. 

Advanced Home Upgrade requires an initial whole home energy assessment for which there is a $300 rebate available after your project is completed.

Home Upgrade

The Home Upgrade rebate is for homeowners that have already done some efficiency work on their home and know exactly what energy efficiency measures they are looking to install. Home Upgrade does not require an initial home assessment but it is limited to homes built before 2001. This rebate option reaches $3,000 and includes an additional $150 rebate for combustion safety testing if deemed necessary.


Home Upgrade Advisors

Looking for a little help? The Home Upgrade Advisors are a free service available to anyone looking to make their home more efficient. They are sponsored by the rebate program and are not connected to any single contractor. They can help you identify the best project options for your home, select your contractor, review bids, and identify all of the rebate and financing programs available in your area. The Home Upgrade Advisors are all Building Performance Institute certified energy professionals and are experts in building science and home energy use. Give them a call today at (866) 878-6008.


Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) - Homeowners can secure upfront funding for home efficiency and renewable energy projects which are repaid through an up to 20-year special line item on the property tax bill. This option differs from traditional consumer credit in that the loan is tied to the property, not the homeowner, and the loan terms do not rely on FICO or other credit scores.

Check with your local bank - There are a number of financing options available to help fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Some examples include: Conventional Mortgage Cash Out Refinance, FHA 203K Renovation Loan, Energy Efficiency Mortgage, and a traditional line of credit. Contact your local bank or mortgage lender to learn about what options are available to you. You can also call a Home Upgrade Advisor to review financing options by calling (866) 878-6008

Visit our Financing Page for more information.

Are You a Contractor or Realtor?

As a trusted Marin County Contractor or Realtor, you know what is valuable to your clients. Homeowners come to you for advice on making smart home decisions. Energy Upgrade California™ Home Upgrade is a great resource for homeowners that need to make improvements to their homes before selling a home or moving in to a newly purchased home. Most homes in Marin County are over 20 years old and have aging HVAC systems and lack proper insulation. An energy efficient remodel can drastically improve home comfort, reduce utility bills, and increase home value, and the Home Upgrade rebate program can help cover the cost of that remodel.

Visit the links below for further information on how you can offer energy efficiency solutions to your clients.

For Contractors Page

For Realtors Page



Visit our FAQ Page if you have a specific question regarding the Energy Upgrade California Program. You can also contact us via email at or by calling our offices at (415) 473-2698.


Building Science Basics

Energy Star Home

Energy Upgrade California™ Home Upgrade is designed to take the “whole house” approach to energy efficiency. Instead of simply changing an old furnace out with a newer, more efficient model, Home Upgrade contractors are trained to look at the energy systems in your home as a whole and identify a project scope that will increase your home’s efficiency overall.

One example of the whole house approach is with furnace change outs. A Home Upgrade contractor will not only recommend the most efficient equipment, but will also take a look at your duct system and attic space to ensure that the hot air from the furnace is being directed into the home (and not the attic) and that your home retains that heat when you need it with proper insulation. 

Air Sealing

Most old homes experience significant building envelope leakage. Recessed lighting fixtures, older windows and doors, and space around plumbing and electrical pipes are the most common culprits for air leakage. These gaps allow heated air to escape your home, especially when you are running your furnace because of positive pressure. Sealing gaps in your building envelope provide the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to saving energy because you will see a drop your utility bill and experience and increase in home comfort without having to invest in a new furnace.

disconnected duct 

Duct Sealing

The same principles of air sealing apply to duct sealing. One of the added benefits of sealing your ducts are that for crawl space and attic dwelling duct systems, sealing leaky ducts will greatly improve air quality. This is because leaky ducts suck in air around it and distribute that air to registers around that house. Sealing ducts off from the dust and dirt in the attic and crawl space will ensure that that dirty air does not circulate into your home. 


Insulation is very important for regulating the temperature in your house. A well-insulated home will stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Insulation needs to be installed properly to generate the most benefit for your home. 

thermal image of a house 

Measuring Equipment

You may be wondering, “How can a contractor tell if a building envelope or duct system is leaking?” Luckily, contractors use specialized measuring equipment like a blower door, duct blaster, and thermal imager to help them identify the problem areas in a home without having to tear down drywall or dismantle duct systems. Licensed contractors can rent testing equipment through the Marin Builders Association's Lending Tool Library.



Additional Local Rebates, Incentives, and Programs

Marin Clean Energy Logo

To help you determine what energy improvements can be made on your home and what the cost savings of implementing these measures could be, MCE Clean Energy has created a simple online tool to help you evaluate your options and maximize your investment. The tool will help you develop an energy action plan customized to your needs. Once you’re ready to go forward with your energy upgrade plan, the online tool can link you to qualified contractors and rebates and incentives.

Pacific Gas and Electric Logo

A list of additional PG&E rebates are listed on the Home Money Saver website.

North Marin Water District Logo

North Marin Water District offers Water Smart Home Surveys and Rebates for its customers.

Marin Municipal Water District Logo 

Marin Municipal Water District offers Water Smart Home Surveys and Rebates for its customers.

County Of Marin Logo


Energy Upgrade California™ Home Upgrade provides assistance and incentives for home improvement projects that can reduce energy use and make homes more comfortable. This statewide program is managed locally by utilities and regional energy networks and directed by the California Public Utilities Commission in collaboration with the California Energy Commission. Funding comes from utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Incentives are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are effective until funding is expended or the program is discontinued. Programs may be modified or terminated without prior notice. ©2016 Energy Upgrade California. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.