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Helping Placer go green

New local business aims to make homes more energy efficient
By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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In a day and age when green energy solutions are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners, one Granite Bay homeowner is riding the wave. Les Lombardo has already installed an entire solar electric system for his home, LED lighting and a pool pump motor that is 92 percent more efficient than the previous one. His final step in making his home as green and energy efficient as possible is installing a radiant barrier in the attic. Through a recommendation from his sister, Lombardo was connected with Cliff Ellefson, owner of Ecoattics Energy Saving Solutions in Roseville. Ellefson has been working in the heating and cooling business since 2006 and recently decided to form his own company as a radiant barrier specialist. While the company is starting out small, comprised of just himself and his business partner Nick Scubero, Ellefson remains hopeful that it will expand and one day franchise, providing cost-saving, environmentally sound solutions for homeowners. Ecoattics installs radiant barriers in the attics of residential homes, using a reflective sheathing that directs heat away from the home. The space-age technology is similar to that used by NASA in order to regulate the body temperature of astronauts, Ellefson said. The idea, he said, is to increase the energy efficiency of the heating and cooling system in the home by keeping heat out in the summer and trapping heat during winter. “Protecting the attic space is really the main benefit,” Ellefson said. “Because of the temperature here in the summer, air conditioning is a high priority for the majority of home owners.” Ellefson said in Sacramento County, radiant barrier is required in all new residential construction, but many older homes do not have it since the technology is still relatively new. “Our goal is to go to all the old homes and put the product in for them,” he said. Lombardo said he discovered the product at a home show while he was designing and building his home 15 years ago. At that time, radiant barrier was not required and his contractors were reluctant to use the product because it was too new to the market and they hadn’t worked with it before. Fifteen years later, Lombardo made the decision to hire Ecoattics based on a recommendation from his sister, a former satisfied customer. “We really subscribe to the green notion, but at the same time it is taking control of your life,” Lombardo said. “When you look at the PG&E, Southern California Edison, they profit immensely from the average rate payer. So we decided to take control of our fortunes.” “I’m putting my money where my mouth is,” he said. Ellefson said Ecoattics is looking to expand the business into whole house fans, solar tube lights, solar attic fans and HVAC duct work, and he will soon be qualified to do home energy auditing. “Our goal is to make the attic space as efficient as possible,” he said. Ellefson and Scubero will be displaying their product at the California State Fair until July 31. The company will also be raising money through their booth to Donate Life, a national charity that helped Scubero’s nephew with a recent kidney transplant. Toby Lewis can be reached at tobyl@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.