Natick Solar Challenge to Begin Soon
The Natick Home Energy Initiative has saved residents money on energy and will continue to do so.
The following information was provided by Natick Town Administrator Martha White:
In March of 2012, the Town of Natick began a partnership with Next Step Living to provide outreach to residents for Mass Save Energy Assessments and other home energy efficiency services. The Natick Home Energy Initiative set a goal of providing energy assessments for 630 homes in Natick or about 5% of the eligible 1-4 unit homes. At this time the program has provided 381 energy assessments and completed 113 weatherization jobs. Together we have saved participating Natick residents $23,000 in utility costs, while making their homes more comfortable and sustainable. On average, those who followed up with insulation and air sealing saw a $206 reduction in energy bills per year, with many seeing a much greater annual savings.
In June 2012, the Town of Natick and Next Step Living launched a solar outreach program to inform the public of the same solar opportunities which the Town has used for their municipal solar projects. Residents with a home suitable for solar panels can obtain them without large upfront costs or hassle of ownership, and instead get a reduction in electric rates from a renewable resource on their roof through alternative financing methods called power purchase agreements. Homeowners have the option to own their solar panels if they prefer.
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In January 2013, we will launch the Natick Solar Challenge which will be a 2 month intensive campaign to build upon the 40 residential solar systems installed in Natick in 2012. Next Step Living is bringing to Natick its experience from managing the Solarize Melrose program, which had 80 households go solar in 4 months. We expect to do even better in Natick, which has already shown the natural capacity to do solar and has an interested population. Throughout the challenge, residents will have the opportunity to attend presentations, participate in “solar socials”, or visit us at local retailers as we help homeowners learn how to lower electricity bills through clean and affordable solar energy! If you can’t wait to find out if your home is good for solar, schedule a visit now at www.naticksolar.com or by calling 866-867-8729.
The Natick Home Energy Initiative could not have been this successful alone. We have had tremendous support from the community including: Natick Community Organic Farm, Natick Farmer’s Market, Kids Connect, Morse Institute Library, Bacon Free Library, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Art in the Park, Lake Cochituate Watershed Council, and Hometown Paint & Hardware. At the program’s halfway point we are poised to meet our energy assessment goals, but will not be able to do it without continued support of existing partners and we will need new partners as well. If you would like your organization, church or school to participate, please contact Michael Cucchiara, Community Program Manager for Next Step Living at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org or at 866-867-8729 for more details. We can provide presentations, informational tables and other resources to help residents better access available services to improve the efficiency of their homes.