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Feelin’ Green

Earlier this year, the Green Village Initiative sponsored a survey.  The topic — home energy efficiency — is not exactly sexy.  (Actually, it’s pretty frumpy.)

Nonetheless, 213 Westporters responded.  64% say that energy efficiency and conservation is their most important “green” issue.  That was followed by land and water use (54%).

The most common energy-reducing actions taken by Westporters was the installation of programmable thermostats (62%).  Other popular measures include scuttling old appliances for Energy Star ones; replacing old boilers, furnaces or windows with more energy-efficient; adding insulation, and installing compact fluorescent light bulbs.  Only 3% said they had taken no action.

The survey also assessed Westporters’ knowledge of, and interest in, CL&P’s Home Energy Solutions program — a visit that includes on-the-spot improvements, including caulking and sealing of critical air leaks, and additional benefits.

Of the 70 respondents who have already had an HES visit, the biggest reason (61%) was to reduce utility bills — followed by lowering carbon footprints (45%) and fighting climate change (37%).  Those are also the 3 reasons most cited by homeowners who say is it “very likely” they’ll have an HES audit done.

However, survey co-chair Alan Abramson says, the biggest benefit reported afterward is comfort.  Many homes are drafty, and the difference is immediately apparent.

This was not, GVI realizes, a random sample.  “It was sent out to people who were probably inclined this way in the first place,” Alan Abramson admits.

Only 8% of the respondents lived in a home that was less than 10 years old.  The majority — 29% — lived in a house at least 75 years old.

Still, the survey results are real — and important.  GIV is now figuring out how to pass the word about Home Energy Solutions (and address those Westporters uninterested in energy efficiency).

GVI might want to remember the adage:  “Strike when the iron is hot.”  Or, in our case, “when we still remember how cold and miserable we’ve been this winter.”

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