You may have noticed the “Melrose Energy Challenge” lawn signs around town over the past few months. They’re part of a city-wide program launched by the Melrose Energy Commission (MEC), encouraging homeowners to take advantage of no-cost home energy assessments.
These assessments provide homeowners with free energy-saving items and a written report that identifies opportunities for energy-efficiency upgrades. Information about utility rebates is also included. Insulation rebates, for example, cover 75 percent of the cost, up to $2,000.
The Melrose Energy Challenge is tapping into a National Grid initiative that offers cash awards to seven cities in its service territory if they meet a set of pre-determined goals for saving energy. One of the goals for Melrose is 511 new home energy assessments in 2016 and, spurred by the Melrose Energy Challenge, the city’s total now stands at 406.
Residents should be aware that energy assessments are not one-time propositions. Homeowners are entitled to a new assessment every two years, which was good news for Jim and Lisa Oosterman, who live on Ellis Farm Lane. The Oostermans recently had a second home energy assessment.
“It’s a great program,” said Jim. “We had an assessment a couple of years ago and didn’t realize we were eligible to do another one.”
Oosterman pointed out that energy-efficiency technology is rapidly evolving and had made major strides in just two years. “I’m really glad we did it again,” he said. “The technology is better and there are now more sophisticated ways to conduct the assessment.”
In their most recent assessment, the Oostermans had all their CFL bulbs replaced by LEDs, received an energy-efficient surge protector and installed a water-saving showerhead and several sink aerators to save energy and water. In addition, they were able to take advantage of National Grid rebates to have some small insulation projects done.
“They told us we were in pretty good shape but there were still a few opportunities to save energy,” said Jim.
The Melrose Energy Challenge still has nearly four months left so there’s plenty of time to arrange for a free home energy assessment. MEC has partnered with HomeWorks Energy, an energy services company in Woburn, to conduct these assessments.
For more information, or to sign up for a home energy assessment, call 339-502-4353 or visit http://www.homeworksenergy.com/melrose-energy-challenge. You can also contact MEC co-chair Lori Timmermann at MelroseEnergyChallenge@gmail.com.