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On Monday, May 2, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner – and Cheshire resident – Daniel C. Esty joined Cheshire officials, Congressman Chris Murphy’s District Director Robert Michalik, and other community leaders in support of energy conservation as the Town of Cheshire formally launched its residential energy efficiency program with the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge.
Cheshire is one of 14 communities statewide chosen to participate in the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge, a community energy savings program that aims to reduce energy consumption in participating households by 20 percent. The program is made possible by a $4.17 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the BetterBuildings initiative, whose mission is to create a self-sustaining building energy upgrade market.
Before speaking at the launch event at Cheshire High School, Esty accompanied Director of Management Services for Cheshire Public Schools Vincent Masciana and Cheshire Town Council Chairman Tim Slocum on a tour of the school’s recent clean energy and energy efficiency initiatives, including a solar-powered classroom.
“Taking personal steps to improve energy efficiency can help us reduce our energy bills while laying the groundwork for a clean energy future,” said Esty. “I recently had a Home Energy Solutions visit at my own home to figure out how my family could save energy and save on our bills.I believe that my neighbors in Cheshire, and all the citizens of Connecticut, can make a difference by joining the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge and reducing their consumption.”
Cheshire residents will have many ways to reach their 20 percent energy waste reduction goal, with support from the program at every step on the journey – whether it’s using the program website to understand the cost of their home energy use, taking advantage of the free Neighbor to Neighbor Lighting Program, or signing up for Home Energy Solutions (HES). HES is an easy and affordable Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund program that provides a variety of home energy saving measures and pinpoints other actions that will cut home energy waste.
“We’re excited to join the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge. Many homes in Cheshire are leaking money through the cracks, and this program is here to help make our homes more comfortable and affordable,” said Slocum. “This is a great opportunity for Cheshire to demonstrate leadership by saving energy and money, which can go back into our local economy.”
Participants will also be urged to purchase and otherwise use clean energy, whether they choose to signup for the CTCleanEnergyOptions program or install a solar thermal or PV system on their homes with support from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. A robust incentive program provides rewards for community participation. Taking actions in the program earns points that can be redeemed for LED light bulbs, smart thermostats, solar- powered LED street lights, electric vehicle recharging stations, and more.
With the state of the economy and concern over volatile energy prices, communities are looking for energy solutions – and with predicted lifetime energy savings of nearly $150 million, the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge will deliver those solutions.