Frequently Asked Questions
Have other questions? Contact the City's Director of Energy and Environment, Alicia Hunt
What is a Home Energy Assessment?
An energy auditor will come to your house and guide you through improvements you can make to increase energy efficiency. They will examine your heating and insulation systems, and may use thermal imaging to identify heat leaks throughout your home. During the Assessment they can provide you with new lightbulbs and water saving fixtures. Here is an example of a home energy audit.
If the auditor recommends air sealing they will give you a proposal to have the work done, in which the first 8 hours will be free. If they recommend insulation they will give you a proposal to have it installed. If they recommend a new heating system they will tell you about incentives and the Massachusetts 0% HEAT loan to help cover costs.
Why should I have an Energy Assessment?
A home energy assessment lets you find out how to make your home more energy efficient, letting you save money on utility bills and reduce your environmental impact.
How much does it cost?
The Home Energy Assessment comes at no additional cost to you. The program is funded by an “Energy Efficiency Charge” on your monthly National Grid gas and electric bills. Since you are already paying for it, we encourage all residents to take advantage of this program and get a free Home Energy Assessment.
How long does it take?
This will depend on the size and complexity of your home, but generally 1.5-3 hours.
I live in a multi-family house, can I get a no-cost energy assessment?
Yes, as long as there are less than four units in the building.
What's in it for the city?
During 2013 the City participated in an outreach partnership with National Grid to encourage residents to take advantage of the program. We had a great response and the City received a $40,000 grant from National Grid in return.
What are my financing options if I want to make energy efficient upgrades?
Massachusetts has a 0% loan, called a HEAT loan, available to do energy efficiency work on your home. The auditor can give you additional information about the loan, and a home energy assessment is required before you can obtain a HEAT loan.
Local participating banks in the HEAT Loan program are Century Bank, Eastern Bank, East Cambridge Savings Bank, Mass Bay Credit Union, and Members Plus Credit Union. More information about the loan and a complete list of participating banks can be found at MassSave’s website. MassSave also offers rebates and discounts for various appliances, including discounts on LED lightbulbs.