December 2013 - Greenfield's Energy Smart Homes Project
It costs a lot to keep an old drafty building warm in a New England winter, and landlords who own apartment buildings have a problem. They need to keep the rent affordable so that families can find reasonable housing, but so many old buildings have poor insulation. In order to afford to insulate and air seal buildings, most landlords would have to raise the rent.
Ellie Kastanopolous from the town of Greenfield’s Energy Smart Homes Project is now letting landlords who own buildings with five or more units know about the Mass Save Program designed to help landlords pay for weatherizing their properties. Ellie explains how to apply and offers to help landlords who run into problems.
Although Energy Smart Homes has already helped hundreds of individual homeowners and tenants get generous discounts on energy-saving insulation, the newest incentives offer opportunities for landlords. Ellie described the process, “The landlord, not the tenant, must apply by calling an 800 number. Mass Save needs answers to basic questions like the property address, how many units, type of heating fuel, and best guess on the number of square feet. They ask landlords to log onto a website and load in the building’s utility usage data for the previous twelve months. The last step is to talk to each tenant, asking them to fill out and mail in a one-page income verification form.”
Ellie continues: “I work for the town of Greenfield, not the weatherization programs or the contractors, and it is my job to help our residents connect with these great programs. I am happy to work with landlords to get the information that Mass Save needs.”
“Once the property is approved, Mass Save sends out an auditor to do a free energy assessment and draft up a plan of work for the landlord’s approval. Mass Save auditors list what it will cost and how much they can help to pay for the improvements. Landlords decide if they want to go ahead.”
The cheapest, most effective way to save energy and lower the carbon that drives climate change is to insulate and weatherize, thus permanently saving heating/cooling energy. Energy Smart Homes Project has been underway for nearly 3 years. The staff have already tried knocking on the doors of all 5000 Greenfield properties, and referred over 1,100 households to the appropriate discount program. Over the last two years, 305 Greenfield homes have been weatherized and 1,330 have received audits, saving 1,441 metric tons of greenhouse gases and more than $270,000! Is your home next?
For their excellent work, Ellie Kastanopolous and the Energy Smart Homes Project is Greening Greenfield’s “Green Hero” for December.
More Info? Call Energy Smart Homes at 413-772-1389