With only two months remaining in Chelmsford's residential energy efficiency outreach program, how are we doing and what impacts have we had? Chelmsford Saves has been signing up residents for no-cost home energy audits since June 1, 2014; residents had completed 301 audits by the end of January 2015, or at the 2/3 mark of our 1-year program. That's a little ahead of schedule to meet our goal of 371 audits by May 31, 2015. We're also doing well with the goal for Air Sealing (99 of 111) which is a no-cost service if you need it, and Insulation (97 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 systems (7 of 14) or hot water systems (0 for 9), both of which have Mass Save rebates available if you need to replace an old, inefficient system. During the first eight 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!
The impacts we've had as individuals and as a town are encouraging. Replacing just one incandescent light bulb with an LED saves about 50 watts of electricity, which amounts to 146 kW-hr if it's on 8 hours/day for a year. That's equivalent to 222 pounds of CO2, and $25 in electricity saved every year with a single bulb! Each of the 301 residents who have completed an audit are eligible for 3 LEDs and as many CFL bulbs as they have incandescents. Other no-cost instant savings measures include two programmable thermostats (save up to $200/year in heating and cooling costs) and two advanced power strips (save up to $30/year in vampire electric loads). Residents can also choose to have no-cost water savings fixtures installed that save an average family $310/year. Apart from saving residents money and reducing carbon emissions, energy efficiency reduces the need for expensive new infrastructure like gas pipelines and power plants, which are charged to all ratepayers. Our thanks to residents who have participated so far. If you've been waiting to join in, there's no better time than today! Sign up by phone or online using the numbers and links on the Chelmsford Saves page.