It’s not often that those of us working on energy policy at the Department of Energy Resources get to see the impact on a family’s life by one of our new energy initiatives. Recently I had the chance to visit the home of Jim Marowski and his family in Palmer and hear how energy efficiency improvements and incentives have made their home more comfortable and affordable. The Marowskis participated in “Home MPG” (miles per gallon), a Mass Save® Home Energy Services initiative.
Home MPG provides:
- A no-cost Energy Performance Score (EPS) that rates the building’s energy characteristics – rather than occupants’ life-style – much like a vehicle MPG rating, and allows comparison
between area homes based on the structures’ expected energy use and carbon emissions. Homeowners get to see an EPS both before and after making home energy improvements to show the impact of those upgrades.
- Bonus incentives – in addition to those already provided through Mass Save – to offset the cost of insulation and heating/hot water equipment upgrades.
- A web interface to connect homeowners to an infrared thermal image of their home (if available) to illustrate the potential for targeted cost-effective building envelope improvements.
- A web-based tool that allows homeowners to view the results of their Mass Save home energy assessment and energy scorecard.
The results from the Marowski’s no cost Home MPG/Mass Save home energy assessment pointed up specific changes they could make to take advantage of energy efficiency incentives through Mass Save. The family spent about $9,000 on their improvements: heating system, hot water heater, and attic insulation. But thanks to the incentives, they were reimbursed for about half of those costs.
With anticipated savings of around $1,400 a year in reduced energy expenses, it won't take long for the Marowskis’ improvements to pay for themselves. "That will be within about three years, based on the projected savings and what the out-of-pocket expense was. It's not difficult at all. If I can take advantage of these programs, anybody can," Jim Marowski said.
The communities participating in the Home MPG initative are Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow, Monson, Palmer, Springfield and Wilbraham. If you live in one of these towns and want to learn more about Home MPG, check out http://masssave.energy-performance-score.com/. If you're generally interested in home energy upgrades that save money, go to masssave.com or call 1-866-527-SAVE (7283) to schedule your no-cost home energy assessment.