Ener-G-Save encouraging home energy audits

  • Energ-G-Save contracted to do thermal imaging of 100,000 owner-occupied, single-family homes in 10 Pioneer Valley communities, including Greenfield and Deerfield. Submitted photo

Recorder Staff
Friday, September 01, 2017

If you’ve been holding out on getting a free energy audit of your home, maybe it will help to get a free thermal image that was taken last spring showing how heat has been escaping.

That, at least, is the hope of the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, which had thermal images of 100,000 single-family homes taken in Greenfield, Deerfield and eight other Pioneer Valley communities in April.

Ener-G-Save, as Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation Energy LLC is being called, hopes to encourage more homeowners to take advantage of Mass-Save home energy audits by working with Co-Op Power to send out 25,000 thermal images in early September to homes thought to have the greatest potential for energy savings most.

“It’s another doorway into the same program,” says Andra Rose of Amherst, who is helping to promote the initiative by the Springfield-area philanthropist.

Grinspoon, who wondered why more people don’t take advantage of the audit, paid for by all utility customers, thought that distributing the photos would be just the hook for getting the attention of people who best stand benefit from the free audit and discounts on insulation and appliances that comes with it.

The images, taken by a vehicle loaded with high-tech equipment to measure how much energy escapes from housing stock, were analyzed by Boston-based engineering firm Essess using software developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The analysis takes into account the building material of a home as well as weather data, public information on buildings and average efficiency of comparable area homes.

They can help homeowners make informed decisions about how to cut energy loss and energy costs.

“Thermal imaging is one way that we can target each home’s best spots for improvements,” said Grinspoon. “We want to educate and inspire people to use energy more efficiently, and help them find resources to make the necessary changes. Every month, through our utility bills, each of us pays into a fund that supports Massachusetts’ homeowners in improving their homes. So homeowners can claim incentives from that fund, stop losing money and precious energy, all while making their home more comfortable, healthy and valuable for their families. … (And) the earth benefits, too.”

People who respond, either by going to the ener-G-save.com website, or phone 413-279-9141, to request an audit, will be connected to the energy cooperative Coop Power, which will schedule a Mass Save for their home, said Rose.

“Anyone can make use of this resource,” she added, even if they live outside the 10-towns — which also include Amherst, Belchertown and Northampton. “It’s just a way to get people thinking about energy efficiency as a really good solution to a lot of our energy problems right now.”