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Post Date:03/18/2016 8:33 AM
COACHELLA, Calif., March 16, 2016 — Mitigation funds from a new power plant near Desert Hot Springs are being used to pay for attic insulation in hundreds of homes across the city of Coachella. 

     “These mitigation funds will not only help residents save on energy costs, but will also improve air quality in the area,” said John J. Benoit, Riverside County Supervisor and SCAQMD Board Member.  “Our goal is to retrofit about 400 homes over the next six months.” 

     As part of the program, Corona-based Add Insulation is installing insulation up to R-38 and sealing air leaks around lighting, plumbing, electrical connections and ventilation ducts, which will provide emission reductions by lower energy usage in the heating and cooling of homes. 

     The City of Coachella is making it a priority to install insulation in homes built in the 1960s and 70s, but newer homes will also be considered for the program. 

     Homes built prior to 1977 had no insulation requirements, while homes built from 1977 to 1986 had a minimum requirement of R-19 insulation in the attic. Homes built after 1986 have a minimum requirement of R-30 insulation in the attic. However, in 2012 the state of California increased the minimum attic insulation requirement to R-38 for new construction. 

     Adopted in 2009, Assembly Bill 1318, co-authored by former Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez and former Senator and now Riverside County Supervisor John J. Benoit, allowed for the sale of emission credits from the South Coast AQMD’s internal emission credit bank for the construction and operation of the Sentinel Energy Project near Desert Hot Springs. Perez, who is now a councilman for the city of Coachella, said he considers the legislation to be an environmental justice initiative. 

     Coachella homeowners who would like to schedule a free home evaluation can contact Add Insulation at (877) 667-8080, or call SCAQMD’s weatherization hotline at (855) 396-3503

     The South Coast Air Quality Management District is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
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