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City Begins Residential Energy Efficiency Program

Funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, new program offers residents opportunities for home energy audits and weatherization upgrades to reduce energy, save money.

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, and the Office of Sustainability and Environment have announced a new program for residents designed to reduce energy use – and therefore costs – while encouraging best practices for a sustainable approach to urban living. Funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Somerville Energy Challenge has been developed with support from Serrafix, a strategic consulting group specializing in ways to save energy, improve transportation systems, and implement smart growth.

The Somerville Energy Challenge is designed to benefit both owner-occupied and rental residential properties by providing strategies and incentives for reducing energy consumption and costs. The program also offers assistance with home improvements, including; weatherization assistance grants for income-eligible residents; 0% APR loans from participating lenders. Access to rebates and other financial assistance are also available. The program includes a free home energy assessment to identify cost-effective energy improvement or replacement opportunities. Russell Koty, the City Energy Advocate, is available to assist residents in accessing which opportunities are best suited to their needs and economic status.

“This is a great opportunity for Somerville homeowners to make little or no-cost energy efficiency improvements that they have been putting off during these tough economic times,” said Mayor Curtatone. “This program will benefit home owners and tenants throughout the city by lowering their utility bills and it will reduce Somerville’s overall carbon footprint. That’s a plus for the wellbeing of everyone in the city.”

“Navigating through the process of improving a home’s energy efficiency, including the numerous incentives and rebates, can be tricky,” said Koty. “It’s my job to make this a simpler process for residents and help Somerville continue to lead the way in energy efficiency and sustainability.”

To take advantage of the program offerings, residents should contact Russell Koty to arrange for a free, no obligation Home Energy Assessment. During the assessment process, specialists can help locate areas in residences where homeowners may be losing energy, determine the efficiency of home heating and cooling systems, and offer tips to conserve water and electricity. Following the free Assessment, specialists may make recommendations on additional steps to conserve energy that may result in financial savings long-term. Residents will also be able to work with the City to determine the best course of action and to maximize any rebates or utility subsidies that are available to lower the consumer costs of the efficiency improvements.

The program is a partnership between the City of Somerville, NSTAR, and MassSave. In addition, the City is working with Century Bank to ensure that residents have access to all available financial resources. Serrafix provides ongoing support through the ee-2020 project supported by a grant from the Barr Foundation.

For more information on the Program, contact the City’s Energy Advocate, Russell Koty, at RKoty@somervillema.gov, or 617-625-6600 ext. 2568.

Source:  http://www.thesomervillenews.com/archives/22103


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