Affordable Comfort Inc.

December 15, 2010 09:36 ET

Energy Upgrade California Conference to Help Advance Local Residential Energy Efficiency Retrofit Industry

Fast-Growing Market Segment Offers Opportunities for Sustainable, Green-Collar Jobs in Southern California Communities

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 15, 2010) - Affordable Comfort Inc. (ACI), the nation's leading educational resource for the home performance and weatherization industry, is pleased to welcome contractors, remodelers, tradespersons, energy auditors and homebuilders to the Energy Upgrade California conference. The two-day summit, sponsored by Los Angeles County and Southern California utilities, will provide training and education on improving the energy efficiency, durability, comfort, health and safety of homes.

The event, taking place at the Millennium Biltmore in Los Angeles, CA, on January 10 - 11, 2011, will introduce individuals looking to start or advance their careers in the home performance and weatherization industry to Energy Upgrade California, a statewide energy efficiency upgrade rebate and incentive program for homeowners. The summit will offer a variety of opportunities to learn from and interact with leading trainers and subject-matter experts from across the country. An exhibit hall will showcase the latest products and services essential to success.

"Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County is an unprecedented alliance of state and local governments and the electric and gas utilities to bring affordable energy efficiency upgrades to existing single family homes," says Tom Tindall, Director of the Los Angeles County Internal Services Department. "We have been collaborating to develop a winning program that creates good jobs and provides rebates and incentives for homeowners throughout Los Angeles County in a seamless and easy to follow process."

"We are thrilled to be organizing the Energy Upgrade California conference," says Amy Fazio, Executive Director of ACI. "California is developing a fantastic infrastructure to help make energy efficiency accessible to homeowners, with robust programs and a thriving, skilled workforce that is growing every day. Events like Energy Upgrade California help connect thinkers and doers, policy makers and implementers, as well as the folks who do the actual work to make homes perform better. Being able to bring all of these factors together to share in a single, focused, regional event is vital to the long-term success of the industry."

Classroom sessions will cover topics such as:
  • Building science, diagnostics and energy audits
  • Status of local, state and federal homeowner incentive programs
  • Standards, certifications and quality assurance
  • Achieving deep energy reductions
  • Insulation priorities and best practices
  • Optimizing domestic hot water systems
  • Green retrofit issues and implementation
  • Lighting and baseload performance
  • HVAC innovations and best practices
  • Combustion appliance safety and performance upgrades
  • Financing and real estate issues
  • Business-building skills for contractors: marketing, estimating and sales

Despite an unemployment rate of 18.8 for the construction industry at-large in November 2010, according to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the home performance and weatherization industry has seen rapid growth since the start of the recession.

That growth is reflected in the rapid increase of attendance at ACI events throughout the 2009-2010 season so far—a 31% overall increase for regional events and a 54% increase in attendance for the National Conference, held in Austin, TX in April 2010. The ACI New England event held in Sturbridge, MA, in October 2010 set a new attendance record for an ACI regional event with 870—a 60% increase over the attendance total in 2008, the last time an ACI event was held in that region.

To view the agenda or learn more about the presenters, visit

About Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County

Energy Upgrade California™ helps Los Angeles County homeowners make home upgrades to reduce energy use, conserve resources and create more comfortable and efficient homes. Participating homeowners may be eligible for up to $4,500 in rebates and incentives. LA County's goal for the Energy Upgrade California Program is to improve the energy efficiency of 30,000 houses in the County by the end of 2012. To meet that demand, contractors are needed to do the work. Participating Contractors will be listed on the Energy Upgrade website, and homeowners will be choosing contractors from a single, official website.

Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified contractors can join the Energy Upgrade team by attending a Participation Workshop. Those that aren't BPI-certified can still join the program to provide basic sealing and insulation services by completing a free, three-day training in the basic program.

For more information on becoming an Energy Upgrade Participating Contractor, visit and click on "I'm a Contractor."

Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County is funded in part by grants from the Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission, and administered by the County of Los Angeles and local utilities.

About Affordable Comfort, Inc.

Founded in 1986, Affordable Comfort, Inc. (ACI) is a not-for-profit organization that has become the go-to resource for information, education and best-practices in the home performance and weatherization industry. ACI recently expanded to new headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA, while also maintaining its original offices in Waynesburg, PA.

ACI recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for its participation in the Building Science Corporation (BSC) team, one of 15 research and deployment partnerships formed to help dramatically improve the energy efficiency of American homes selected by the DOE for funding under the $30 million Energy-Efficient Housing Partnerships program.

ACI national and regional events provide the forum for thought leadership, bringing together the best and the brightest—and the eager to learn—to solve technical problems, exchange new techniques, source new tools and materials and build the momentum of this fast-growing industry. For more information, visit

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