CLAREMONT - This city is tops in Los Angeles County for having homes retrofitted to be more environmentally friendly.

More than 250 people celebrated the news on Thursday night at Taylor Hall.

"Lets face it, there's probably not too many communities that would fill an auditorium on Thursday night to hear about home retrofits," said Ken Alex, a senior policy adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown.

About 130 homes, or 1 percent of the 13,000 homes in the city, have been energy retrofitted.

"There are 13 million homes in the state," said Devon Hartman, co-founder of Claremont's Community Home Energy Retrofit Project.

"We are celebrating the accomplishment of the goal (130) and launching the goal of 1,300. We're at 160 completed or in process of being completed right now."

At Thursday's celebration, Hartman attributed Claremont's success to education, collaboration as well as public and private partnerships.

Howard Choy, general manager of Los Angeles County's Office of Sustainability, said Claremont was far ahead of other cities in the county for retrofitting.

"I was looking at the statistics earlier this week, and I think per capita number of retrofits, Claremont is like 30 times higher than the next city," Choy said.

Andrew McAllister, commissioner of the California Energy Commission, told attendees on Thursday that he was going to use Claremont as a model for other communities.


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"If I can go back and say `Look, go check out Claremont. Look at what they're doing. Why can't your community do this as well? What are the barriers? What can we help you develop that's going to allow you to have traction?"' McAllister said.

Choy also said the goal of 1,300 homes being retrofitted in the city was also in reach.

"I don't think 10 percent is unrealistic," Choy said. "It's certainly audacious. We're going to be proud to be a part of it."

Residents Janet and Ron Evans said they spent about $4,600 on retrofitting their home with attic duct work and insulation.

A state program reimbursed them and "already we've seen a lessening of our utility bills," Ron Evans said.

"Finding that insulation here is not just for warmth, but obviously for very hot temperatures as well to keep it cool, so bringing the house up to a much better standard is a great advantage for 12 months of the year here."


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