Our Home Energy Action Campaign is official! We’re excited to work with partners and local leaders in Waterbury to help residents learn about and participate in the Home Energy Solutions program administered by Eversource.
This program provides a very low or no cost evaluation of areas in the home that can be more energy efficient, reduce energy use, save residents money, make homes more comfortable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Once a resident signs up, an expert contractor will come to the home, identify and seal areas like leaky windows, areas around pipes and any other area in the home. They conduct tests to evaluate where insulation might be added, change light bulbs and shower heads to more efficient models that save energy and water use and review any additional steps that might be taken to safely seal up the home. The services are funded, in part, by a small surcharge on all electric ratepayers’ bills.
Why is Clean Water Action involved? In Connecticut, many low-income residents pay up to 30% of their monthly income to heat and cool their homes as many of these homes are old and not sufficiently insulated. Emissions from buildings contributes to about one third of carbon pollution, according to the recent Governor’s Council on Climate Change report. Connecticut law requires that 80% of residences must be weatherized by 2030 to meet our Global Warming Solutions targets. Yet, we are nowhere near reaching that goal, despite having good programs in place.
Many reasons exist for not getting more residents to take part in the program including barriers like mold and asbestos that must be addressed before sealing up a leaky home, perceived costs, difficulty navigating the system for completing weatherization, landlords that don’t feel they have an incentive to invest in weatherization, language barriers and numerous other social and cultural reasons.
At Clean Water Action, we know the value and benefit of working with local, trusted partners, building community relationships and grassroots organizing and we knew that by employing these skills, we could help expand outreach and participation in communities where residents can benefit the most from these services and do our part to reduce carbon emissions.
We’re thrilled to partner with Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury, the Mayor’s office, the Police Activity League and many local leaders to do direct engagement with residents and make the sign-up process easy! We’re looking forward to hosting an event at City Hall, table at the city’s Juneteenth celebration and many other events and achieving our goal of signing up more than 310 residents by the end of the year!