Our Town's residential energy efficiency outreach program "Chelmsford Saves" has been going since June 1, with six months remaining. If we reach the goals set in our grant from National Grid, we'll receive additional funding to help spread the word about Mass Save no-cost and discounted energy saving measures. So how are we doing at half-time?
Our primary goal is to finish 371 no-cost home energy audits by May 31, and we're well on our way with about 260 complete. We're also doing well with the goal for Air Sealing (55 of 111) which is a no-cost service if you need it, and Insulation (50 of 117) which is discounted 75% up to a yearly limit of $2,000. We're not doing as well on our goals for new heating or hot water systems, or new refrigerators, all of which have Mass Save rebates available if you need to replace an old, inefficient system. During the first six months we've also held public workshops to explain the overall program, home weatherization, heat pumps, and ice dam prevention, which Chelmsford TeleMedia has filmed as part of the TM Roundtable series. Our partner Next Step Living has done a lot of tabling and outreach to make it as easy as possible to sign up!
As encouraging as our progress is, there's no reason we can't do better with thousands of eligible homeowners and renters in town. Half-time usually involves cheerleaders, and in this case I'm asking if you can be a cheerleader and help us reach everyone. A few specific needs: 1) if you've had an audit and are happy with the results, please consider hosting a lawn sign to encourage your neighbors and other residents, and 2) if you belong to a group that will be meeting in the next few months, please consider inviting us for an information session or even a workshop on the energy efficiency topic of your choice. You'll be doing your group and fellow residents a favor by helping them to save money and reduce use of fossil fuels, eliminating the need for new gas pipelines. In 2013 residents received about 5000 light bulbs, 500 programmable thermostats, and 150 rebates for air sealing and insulation through Mass Save programs; let's build on this and get everyone saving!