Tag Archives: Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge

Home Energy Solutions $ave $$$

First Selectman Jim Marpe did it. Human Services director Elaine Daignault did it. Over 2,000 Westporters did it too.

“It” is offer up their houses for a Home Energy Solutions Assessment.

They learned whether their doors, windows and ductwork were leaking air. They found out if their insulation made the grade, and if their appliances were wasting energy and money.

When air leaks were found, they got caulked. Light bulbs were replaced with LEDs. Low-flow shower heads were installed, and pipes wrapped with insulation.

A blower test discovers leaks in your home you never knew you had.

The average yearly savings in Connecticut from a Home Energy Solutions Assessment is $200 to $250. This being Westport — where homes are larger, more filled with “stuff” — that figure can be much higher.

It’s a win-win: You help the environment, and save money.

But wait! There’s more!

The Home Energy Solutions Challenge is now underway.  The first 50 Westporters to complete an HES assessment pay only $74. If you’re not in that group, the cost is still quite low: $149. There are rebates on certain appliances and installation of new windows and insulation, too.

And if you’re an income-eligible resident — including renters — there is no cost at all for the service.

The catch — and you can’t even call it that — is that the service is paid for by everyone, through a small surcharge on electricity and natural gas bills.

During the Home Energy Solutions Assessment, a nice guy will even check your bulbs.

The program is promoted by Westport’s Green Task Force and New England Smart Energy Group. The latter organization helped Westport win the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge in 2013. We had the most number of HES visits and upgrades in the state.

Interested? Click here, or call 203-292-8088 for an appointment.

Not interested? The only acceptable excuse is that — like Jim Marpe, Elaine Daignault and 2,000 other Westporters — you’ve already had it done.

We’re Also #1

On the heels of this morning’s postWestport is the 9th most educated place in the United States! — it’s worth noting another accomplishment.

In the Neighbor to Neighbor Home Energy Challenge, we’re #1.

And we did not win by a nose (or kilowatt, or whatever). We blew every other town in Connecticut far out of the water.

Home energy challengeWe ended the contest with 819,400 points. Our next closest competitor — Wilton — earned 170,800. Only 4 other towns in the state (Ridgefield, Wethersfield, Portland and Lebanon) got over 100,000.

Westport’s spectacular energy efficiency rating comes thanks to the work done by the Westport Home Energy Challenge, and 20 partner organizations.

But we’re not resting on our laurels. The Green Task Force has launched a “Stay Cool Westport!” initiative.

Anyone signing up for a Home Energy Solutions visit will learn how to lower air-conditioning and heating costs. And — if it’s done by August 31 — donations will be made to the Westport Warm-Up Fund. That’s a Department of Human Services program that helps needy Westporters purchase heating fuel.

Congratulations to the 1,548 Westporters who have already weatherized their homes through the Neighbor to Neighbor Challenge. Your “energy” is greatly appreciated.

(To sign up for a Stay Cool Westport energy audit, call 877-WISE-USE.)

Westport 1, Everyone Else 0

Westporters like to compete in everything:  SAT scores.  Coolest cars.  Most residential square footage.

We’re now Number 1 in a contest that matters more than most.  We lead a competition among 14 Connecticut communities to achieve residential energy efficiencies

We’ve had the most  home energy solution visits — 160 — since the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge began in March.  (Feedback on those visits is near 100%.)

The town with the 2nd highest number of visits is waaaaay behind — only 75.  Eat our emissions, Ridgefield!

We’ve also had the most home energy improvements completed, after those visits.  That number — 7 — is pretty low.  Still, it beats all the other towns — combined.

Westport project leader Alan Abramson credits the town — including civic leaders, non-profit groups and, ahem, “06880” — with publicizing the home energy visits, and inspiring action.

“As you can tell, we’ve been quite busy,” Abramson says.

“Our success has been primarily a function of a good initial game plan.  Now we have to get better at execution of the community leader/community group/non-profit partnership model.  And to figure out how to get more people to do the recommended upgrades.”

If you’re reading this with the a/c blasting, think about your bill.  Then sign up for a home energy audit.

Just like 160 of your neighbors — with lower bills — have already done.

(To schedule a visit click here, or  call 203-292-8088.  Homeowners who are income-eligible are entitled to a free visit — contact Westport’s Human Services Department at 203-341-1050.)