Newburyport Joins National Grid Initiative for Home Energy Efficiency Awareness
Newburyport is among four communities participating in National Grid’s Community Initiative, a home energy efficiency awareness, outreach, and education initiative that encourages residents and residential building owners to sign up for a no-cost Home Energy Assessment. The assessments are paid for by the energy efficiency charge on your gas and electricity bill, which funds National Grid and other Mass Save partners to perform this service for Newburyport’s utility customers.
“Our goal is to inform all residents and residential property owners of the benefits of home energy efficiency and to complete 450 no-cost Home Energy Assessment before the end of 2019,” said Molly Ettenborough, Newburyport’s Sustainability Manager. “Public information sessions will be offered every month throughout 2019 at the Newburyport Library and the Senior Community Center. Information will be posted on the City’s Energy website by the end of February.”
The first public information meeting is Tuesday, February 12 from 7-8 PM at the Newburyport Library’s first floor program room. The presentation topic is The Top 3 Things to Know About How to Read and Understand Your Electric Bill. Residents are encouraged to bring their electric bills and their questions to this meetins.
Whether you live in a condo, apartment, single–family home, or a multi-family building, you are eligible for a no-cost Home Energy Assessment every two years because efficiency technology and incentives evolve. As a way for individuals to participate in reducing carbon pollutants, the key benefits are increased comfort at home, more efficient heating, cooling and hot water systems, and a potential savings of 5 – 30% in utility and fuel bills. In some cases, making energy efficiency improvements can add value to your property.
Included in a no-cost Home Energy Assessment are two weatherization opportunities. No-cost air sealing secures the leaks, which can be found anywhere but are often in openings for electrical lines, pipes, ducts and recessed lights. Many homes lack any or adequate insulation. Insulation, if needed, is at least 75% off with no incentive limit for 2019. Based on your income, you may be eligible for 100% off insulation. Sometimes, a home has barriers to insulation, such as knob and tube wiring or asbestos. For these situations, there are additional incentives to help remove the barriers to weatherization.
Another part of the home assessment looks at the efficiency of your heating, cooling, and hot water systems. Unnecessarily high energy and repair bills are two reasons to replace older but still working systems. Rebates up to $2,750 are available for replacing older, inefficient systems. Your local contractor can help you facilitate an upgrade to a more efficient system that comes with rebates and other financial incentives. During the home energy assessment, your energy specialist may discuss options for upgrading to a new system, but you’re free to work with the installer of your choice.
Beyond weatherization and heating and cooling systems, the number one electricity hog is an old refrigerator or freezer. National Grid will pay you $75 to let them cart off your old fridge or freezer for proper recycling. Immediate no-cost energy efficiency measures offered during the assessment includes switching out incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs, faucet aerators, low flow showerheads, and a smart power strip that make it easy to shut off power to items that suck energy even when turned off like cable boxes, TVs, DVRs, stereo equipment, computers, coffee makers, or anything with a boxy adapter attached to its cord.
The number to call for a no-cost Home Energy Assessment is 855-891-9899.
Contact: Molly Ettenborough
Recycling and Energy Manager
City of Newburyport
Alternate contact: Linda Guthrie, 978-764-5200