The city of Claremont has become a leader in community sustainability in the state of California. Currently it is the only city that has met the goals in energy reduction set by CHERP, retrofitting 1% of their residential homes. Claremont has also been awarded the Gold Statues in the Energy Leader Partnership
In Claremont 80% of the total energy consumed comes from the residential buildings. Of the 80% energy used, the dominant fuel type is Gas and electricity. Within residential consumption it was reported in 2009 that 41% went to space heating. The enormous amount of energy consumption is attributed to energy waste that comes from the lack of proper insulation in old and new homes.
The Community Home Retrofit program is Claremont’s response to the massive energy usage that is deriving from residential buildings. The CHERP program is a non-profit organization that helps cities organize and educate their residents on retrofitting their homes. The program is one that takes a ground up approach which involves the community and stakeholders and is purely volunteer based.
This approach has proved very effective in Claremont, and they just completed phase 1 of the project, retrofitting 130 homes. Phase II will be retrofitting 10% of their residential homes, 1,300 homes.
Part of the education of CHERP is informing homeowners of the different rebates and finances that the state offers for their retrofit project. They have identified that the two major obstacles are (1) the lack of awareness of current technologies and (2) lack of contractors that are specialized in Whole-house energy efficiency systems.