Friday, January 25, 2013

Claremont's CHERP leads LA County in retrofits

Claremont residents and administrators took a night off on Thursday for a special house party.

About 400 Claremonters and dignitaries gathered at Taylor Hall to recognize Claremont’s Community Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP) reaching its goal of retrofitting 130 homes. Claremont leads Los Angeles County as the city with the most home energy retrofits.

As the city embarks on its new goal of retrofitting 1300 homes, 10 percent of the estimated 11,000 households in Claremont, program volunteers took a timeout to bask in their accomplishments.

“Claremont is really a unique place and it’s the right size and has the right attitude in its community to really make things happen,” said Freeman Allen of Sustainable Claremont. “It makes me think of the inauguration, when Alex Haley was as saying, ‘Find the good and praise it [sic].’ That’s what I see happening.”

Originally named the Claremont Home Energy retrofit Project, CHERP began in 2010 as a collaboration of residents working with community organizations, contractors and cities to cut back on fossil fuels and encourage sustainable building practices. 

Three years later, the Claremont community continues to latch on to CHERP, renamed the Community Home Energy Retrofit program in hopes of reaching out to other cities throughout southern California. To date, CHERP has brought more than $2 million dollars in jobs and about 2 dozen employees into the city, according to Mr. Allen.

“This is a model for what other communities can do,” Mr. Allen said. “This is a great tool in fighting global warming and making homes more comfortable. It’s just a win-win situation all around.”

Those interested in a home energy retrofit may receive rebates, grants or financing. CHERP experts and volunteers are willing to help. For more information, visit the CHERP website at or contact Chris Veirs, senior planner/sustainability coordinator, at 399-5486 or by email at

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