An innovative time-limited opportunity is being offered to homeowners in Westport: access a free thermal image report that provides exterior heat loss images of your home, it was announced Tuesday.
Request images and learn about energy efficiency upgrades, and rebates, incentives and finance opportunities that can help you achieve such upgrades.
Building on the success of Westport’s Home Energy Challenge and the Solarize Westport initiative, this 2014 campaign is working to make Westport more sustainable, and will run from Feb. 6 to May 1 of this year.
This exclusive state-sponsored program is being offered in only three other towns in Connecticut at this time.
“These 2014 initiatives will move more homeowners toward more comfortable, healthy and high performing homes, while saving money and energy. We are proud to be a part of a program that will help Westporters find the right solutions,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe.
Sagewell, the state-chosen vendor, has provided a similar program to 40 towns in Massachusetts. There won’t be any privacy concerns as the thermal imaging cannot see through surfaces such as windows. In addition, homeowners will go through a privacy-secured process to get their home thermal images. Data and images will be accessed only with the homeowners’ permission. A vehicle equipped with heat loss sensors drove through Westport in January, to help homeowners see where energy is leaking from their homes.
“Residents report feeling smarter once they actually see the thermal image report that shows where their homes are losing energy,” said Tim D’Souza, of Sagewell, Inc., “Seeing the energy leaking from the house is vital first step to addressing energy efficiency measures.”
“I knew I had a problem in the master bedroom as the pipes there are vulnerable to below-freezing temperatures,” said David Yarmoff, a Westport homeowner.
“But seeing the thermal imaging of my house was a shock,” he added. “In business I am always aware of the supply/demand interrelationship, but I didn’t think it through in terms of my home. We supply energy to our house via solar and geothermal installations, and have been able to cut our energy bills substantially. I am very excited to see how additional measures can cut down on our home energy demand, improve our home comfort and save us money.”
To get started, homeowners can go to www.WeGreenWestport.org or call Sagewell at (203) 349 3019.
After submitting a request for the heat loss images, homeowners will receive a confirmation via email from Sagewell and another email when the images are ready. If the homeowners choose, they will also be contacted separately by pre-approved energy efficiency companies to address potential for energy efficiency upgrades, such as insulation, more efficient HVAC systems, or a solar photovoltaic system.
Astrum Solar, a leader in solar photovoltaic (PV) installation, has been chosen to work with Westport to provide quality installation at a specially negotiated rate. Contracts must be signed by May 1, 2014.
“Many Westport residents want to be part of something even bigger,” said David Mann, chairman of the Westport Green Task Force.
“During this Energy Efficiency Initiative, not only will homeowners have the opportunity to follow up on energy efficiency upgrades, Astrum Solar, our solar partner, will provide residents with a no cost analysis to let them know if solar is right for their home and how they can benefit from a Westport Group Purchase,” Mann said.
“We have much to celebrate in Westport, including this opportunity to make our community even more energy efficient and sustainable.” said Marpe.
1. Simply go to www.WeGreenWestport.org or (203) 349 3019 to access a thermal image report of your home taken in January, 2014. These image reports provide a visual demonstration of the heat escaping from your home.
2. If you haven’t already done so, take advantage of CT’s Home Energy Solutions visit, which has been shown to increase home comfort and reduce energy costs. The value of such a visit is estimated at up to $1,000, but only costs $75 for homes heated with natural gas or electricity, and $99 for oil and propane-heated homes. (This program is funded by a small fee paid with each electricity and natural gas bill).
*A similar program, the HES-Income Eligible, is FREE to income-eligible homeowners. (e.g. A family of 4 that makes less than $61,903 may qualify). Certain recommended upgrades such as insulation and old appliance replacement may be at no cost, and other upgrades such as replacing single-pane windows are highly subsidized under this program.
3. Follow the recommendations from your assessment to find the right energy savings measures that provide YOU the most cost-effective savings. This may include insulation and air sealing which has been shown to decrease heating and air conditioning bills by 20% on average, or a ductless mini-split heating and cooling system which is about 40% more efficient than window A/C units and significantly reduces energy bills while offering room-by-room climate control.
4. Access to state rebates, incentives and finance options to make upgrades like these affordable.