Chelmsford is among five towns that National Grid selected for Energy Efficiency initiatives in 2014. The program is called Chelmsford Saves and will begin on June 1, led by resident volunteers. Chelmsford will receive startup and incentive funding from National Grid to encourage residents to participate in Mass Save, a program that has offered free home energy audits and free or discounted energy efficiency services since 2001. The town is partnering with Next Step Living, a home energy solutions company that will help provide expertise and staffing. National Grid will provide technical assistance and funding for outreach, while Chelmsford Saves volunteers and Next Step Living staff will explain the options to local residents and businesses.
Benefits of the program include free home energy assessments including energy-saving light bulbs, thermostats, electrical strips, and water-saving devices. The free audit results in immediate savings on energy and water bills, and personalized recommendations for other home improvements that will be subsidized by the program. For example, any recommended insulation improvement qualifies for a 75% off instant incentive, up to $2,000 a year.
Chelmsford Saves volunteers are working now to establish an online presence, contact local groups, and plan for their first public information session when the program starts in June. Initial events will focus on tabling at local businesses and a "Mass Save 101" workshop at the main library on June 5. Future events will focus on energy saving methods that are available for free or are rebated through the program. Chelmsford Saves is working with town committees including Recycling, Energy Efficiency, and CIVIC, to obtain assistance with educational outreach.