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
Placer County will receive a $1 million grant from Sutter Health to help house its chronically homeless population under a grant agreement approved today by the Placer County Board of Supervisors.
The funds will be used to support Placer County’s Whole Person Care Pilot program, which is designed to better coordinate physical health, behavioral health and social services for high users of multiple care systems who have poor health outcomes - and to increase their access to housing and supportive services. The Sutter Health grant will support the development of permanent housing for program participants with the purchase of housing units and by offering rental subsidies.
“Ending homeless in Placer County continues to be a high priority, and we are committed to being innovative and creative in seeking solutions that benefit not only those facing homelessness but everyone in our community,” said Robert Weygandt, chairman of the Placer County Board of Supervisors. “By partnering with Sutter Health, we’ll secure additional resources to jumpstart our Whole Person Care Pilot and provide some of our most vulnerable residents the security they need to get back on their feet."
The Whole Person Care Pilot will serve up to 50 homeless people each year. With the grant, Placer expects to provide housing for between 15-20 people a year.
“Every day we see growing numbers of homeless in our region, and see the toll homelessness takes on individuals and our communities,” said Sutter Health Valley Area President James Conforti. “At Sutter Health, we are working to create a regional, data-driven response to chronic homelessness by working with government, businesses and service providers to support projects that offer low- and no-barrier housing options for the most vulnerable populations, like the Whole Person Care Pilot program."
The grant is part of a larger strategic initiative, “Getting to Zero,” being led by Sutter Health to align public, private and philanthropic resources in Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties in support of a Housing First response to homelessness – a federal strategy that calls for low or-no-barrier access to permanent housing.
“As Sutter Health has met with local leaders and experts to explore best practices for addressing homelessness in our region, we’ve identified immediate opportunities for action and as a result have already begun to commit matching funds to support key elements that will be a critical part of our campaign,” Conforti explained. “We are having positive and productive discussions with elected officials throughout our region and look forward to engaging the entire community in this effort in 2017.”
Home Instead Senior Care Network Launches Online Service to Help Keep Seniors Safe
One of the worst scenarios for families caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease is a loved one wandering or getting lost. It causes immediate panic and concern, and unfortunately happens all too often. In fact, nearly 50 percent of some of these family members have experienced a loved one with Alzheimer’s wandering or getting lost, according to a new survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network. Of those, nearly one in five called the police for assistance. To help families keep their loved ones safe, the Home Instead Senior Care network has launched a free tool, the Missing Senior NetworkSM, now available in Sacramento.
Found at www.MissingSeniorNetwork.com, the platform enables family caregivers to alert a network of friends, family and businesses to be on the lookout for a missing senior. The service provides a way to alert the network of a missing senior via text or email. Families can also choose to post an alert to the Home Instead Remember for Alzheimer’s Facebook page, connected to 270,000 followers.
“These frightening occurrences lead families to call our office and ask for help,” said Buck Shaw, franchise owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Sacramento and surrounding counties. “This resource was created to help Sacramento area families understand the risk of wandering and have a tool that empowers them to quickly take action if a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia wanders.”
The Missing Senior Network is part of Home Instead Senior Care network’s new Prevent WanderingSM program, which includes resources such as insight into what may trigger wandering events, steps families can take to help keep their loved ones safe, and tips on what to do if a wandering event occurs.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, anyone living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is at risk of wandering.
“Wandering can happen at any time, and not just on foot ─ someone in a car or even a wheelchair could wander,” said Monica Moreno, director of Early Stage Initiatives for the Alzheimer’s Association. “A person may want to go back to a former job he or she had, even though that job may no longer exist. Or, someone may have a personal need that must be met. There’s always a purpose and intent. It’s just a matter of identifying the triggers.”
Family caregivers should be aware of the following common triggers that may cause someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia to wander:
“We understand the topic of wandering is something many families coping with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia may avoid discussing,” said Shaw. “It’s important for families to understand the potential triggers for wandering and have a plan in place to help keep their loved ones safe.”
For additional tips and program resources, visit www.PreventWandering.com, or contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office serving the Greater Sacramento area to learn how family caregivers can help prevent and respond to wandering. You can find an office near you by visiting www.homeinstead.com/California.
To access the Missing Senior Network, visit www.MissingSeniorNetwork.com.
About Home Instead Senior Care
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today this network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 12 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.
The homeless are the invisible denizens of America's cities, says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens. “But, the dirty little secret that has only come to light recently is the fact that the elderly are among the fastest growing populations living on the streets,” he reports.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development told Congress last year that there were more than 300,000 homeless Americans 50 years of age or more, 20% more than there were in 2007.
A recognized expert on the issue of the growing number of older individuals who are on the streets is University of Pennsylvania Professor Dennis P. Culhane. He says that in 1990 “the peak age of adults who were homeless was 30” and that today the peak age is 55.
Weber is calling on all candidates for election and re-election in November and those in the private sector to recognize the fact that more seniors are homeless than ever before and to take to heart the needs of “these hapless lost souls. Focus on their plight and let the truth be told, loud and clear. Everyone needs to pitch in if we are to solve this problem, which only grows bigger with each passing day.”
Some would blame the spike in homelessness among older Americans on the swiftly aging population. But, Weber says, it has more to do with the rising cost of health care and health insurance, the lagging economy, the impact of such diseases of old age as cancer and Alzheimer’s and, perhaps the most damaging cause of all, the lack of affordable housing.
“In fact, talk to any health provider who deals with the homeless and they will tell you that there has been a dramatic shift in recent years in the illnesses from which they suffer. It used to be that the homeless suffered mainly from drug abuse and mental illness. Nowadays they are more likely to have the chronic diseases of old age,” Weber notes.
Mel Martinez and Allyson Y. Schwartz are the co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center Senior Health and Housing Task Force. Martinez is a former U.S. Senator from Florida and Schwartz is a former Congresswoman from Pennsylvania. They published an Opinion Article in U.S. News and World Report last month in which they concluded that “preventing and ending homelessness among older adults should become a major national priority in the United States. By setting goals to end homelessness; increasing available low-income senior housing; and by understanding that the challenge requires participation from public and private partners at all levels, we can and will find ways to ensure that all U.S. seniors have the shelter and security that they deserve.”
Meanwhile, Margot Kushel, professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco, is an expert on the elderly who become homeless. She says that providing them with housing is the key to fixing the problem. “A lot of these people have been healthy their whole lives. But it doesn't take long for their health to plummet once they're homeless. Once someone is housed, depression often lifts, stress fades away, infections heal. It's instant.”
Says Weber, “everyone has his own set of priorities, but one thing we all have in common is that we are all growing older. It's one of the hardest things we will all do in this life and so we should have compassion for those who need our help.”
The Association of Mature American Citizens [www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at www.amac.us/join-amac.
Regardless of political stripe or where you live, many Placer County residents cite homelessness as a major concern. Despite the good works of many churches, organizations and individuals addressing this issue, a singular comprehensive solution has not been developed countywide.
Last year PCF collaborated with many partners and held an open forum in Roseville to explore helping individuals who are experiencing homelessness in our county. The forum made clear the need for buy-in among all our communities, to address the causes and not just treat the symptoms. Involving all cities and towns, this work requires committed collaboration of local governments, non-profit service providers, private enterprise and the community as a whole.
Since then the Board of Directors and staff at Placer Community Foundation have participated in several workgroups and site visits with local leaders to learn how others in our state are serving people experiencing homelessness.
Local Nonprofits Working to Help the Homeless
While controversial among neighbors who have concerns about safety and property values, the County of Placer awarded a contract to Volunteers of America, which extends the temporary shelter started by Right Hand Auburn at the Dewitt Center for another year. Additionally, a new nonprofit called Placer Rescue Mission received a conditional use permit to explore the feasibility of developing a campus that would include services for the homeless as well as permanent housing on a ten-acre parcel near the Santucci Justice Center in Roseville.
These projects can take many years to develop and at considerable expense. In the meantime, Placer Community Foundation looked for ways to address our donors’ concerns, interests and care for our homeless population.
$35,000 Matching Grant Supports Critical Services to Our County’s Homeless
While the community considers how best to help those experiencing homelessness, we have collaborated with our generous donors to make a significant $35,000 matching grant to The Gathering Inn; an existing provider that has worked for many years in our community to help people out of homelessness. All gifts were pooled into the Foundation’s Community Needs Fund.
During a site visit, our donors learned how this organization provides homeless women, men and families with resources they need to become active members of our community. The Gathering Inn is attuned to the multitude of needs of their clients and is achieving great impact with the staff and comprehensive programming currently provided. They are changing people’s lives and require significant philanthropic investment.
Grant funds support the operations of the Gathering Inn; allowing for people struggling with homelessness to receive the following and more:
With good organizations like The Gathering Inn and caring churches providing many critical services, the countywide discussion of addressing the cause of homelessness in each individual continues. Having all providers working from one connected system and managing outcomes to each individual would be a significant step.
Strengthening our transitional, mental health, and substance abuse services while increasing longer-term affordable housing so that more stable living situations are fostered are key to positive results. This is all central to the remarkable conversation in our county right now. With a true community approach, Placer County can go a long way toward real solutions for homelessness.
We truly thank our donors for taking the time to understand this extremely complicated issue and supporting some of the most vulnerable in our community.
A new financing option is available to Placer County residents who are looking to purchase a home but are unable to use traditional mortgage loans.
The Placer County Housing Authority is partnering with the California Affordable Housing Agency to expand access to homeownership through the Trio Lease-To-Buy Option Program.
Trio is a home financing program for consumers that uses a lease with an option to purchase. Leasing agreements offer fixed monthly payments ranging from one to five years, with an option to purchase during or at the end of the lease, similar to a car leasing structure. The lease-to-own option is designed to transition families into homeownership, whether as first time homebuyers or re-purchasers.
Trio also offers a mortgage option called ownoption that secures a fixed interest rate at the time of lease signing that remains available to Trio’s customers for the life of the lease, should they choose to purchase the home.
Trio finances any newly-built home (houses built within the last five years) in Placer County with prices up to $527,700 with a Federal Housing Administration loan limit of $474,950.
The City of Roseville is hosting an informational workshop about Trio’s lease-to-own program Wednesday, May 25, at the Roseville City Center. The workshop will run from5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 311 Vernon Street. Those interesting in attending the workshop are encouraged to RSVP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information about the workshop is also available online, here.
To apply for the program or more information, please visit www.thinktrio.com.
(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - As spring blooms and temperatures warm up, it's time to open up the windows and go outside. This means getting into your garage and dusting off the cobwebs from your lawnmower, wiping down your outdoor table and chairs, and getting your car primed to take you where you want to go this summer season.
According to experts, outdoor equipment such as trimmers, blowers, chainsaws and even patio furniture need some time and attention to get them ready for use after sitting all winter. This is especially true for cars that have borne the brunt of snow, ice, slush and other winter-related weather.
Here are some tips for getting your machinery, vehicles and outdoor equipment ready for summer use and entertaining:
Get your lawnmower out of the corner of the garage. Wipe down all surfaces with a dry cloth, oil moving parts to ensure they are well lubricated, and make sure the blade is sharp. Sharp blades are better for your lawn and put less stress on the engine. If you added a fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL Storage prior to putting it away for the winter, it should start up smoothly. Should you have some hard starts, try a revitalizer like Start Your Engines! to get it revved up quickly.
Prime your automobile. With the cost of driving at a six-year low, you'll want to take that long-overdue road trip this summer, so ensuring that your auto is in tip-top shape is paramount. According to the AAA, driving costs are affected by how well your vehicle runs, and that includes the inside and outside of your car. Performing regular maintenance can ensure more efficient operation and help prevent costly repairs. One way to save money is by detailing the car yourself using products such as 303 Automotive Protectant to protect interior surfaces from cracking and fading. Originally engineered for aerospace and aviation applications, 303 Automotive Protectant safeguards against harmful UV rays that can cause discoloration. In addition, it keeps surfaces looking newer, leaves a dry matte finish so there's no oily feel, and helps repel dust. For the exterior, consider 303 Automotive Speed Detailer, which will instantly clean, protect and give your car a showroom shine. It's a great way to keep your car cleaner between washings. And at every fill-up to keep the engine running smoothly, use STA-BIL 360 Performance, a fuel treatment that protects your engine above and below the fuel line to keep your engine running cleaner, stronger and with greater performance.
Assess your outdoor furniture. No matter what material your outdoor furniture is made of, start by wiping down the surfaces. Plastic furniture, if left uncovered all winter, may just need a little soap and water to remove any dirt. To protect your outdoor furniture's hard surfaces from harmful UV Rays, apply a layer of 303 Protectant. You'll also want to protect your fabrics from water and other debris, so try 303 Fabric Guard.
For more information, please visit www.goldeagle.com.