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GELD To Offer Free, Comprehensive Energy Audits

Once the Coronavirus pandemic has passed, Groton Electric Light Department [GELD] will offer ratepayers free, comprehensive home energy audits. Participating customers will receive detailed, reports thanks to new customer- focused audit software. The program is made available to GELD through MMWEC’s Home Energy Loss Prevention Services (HELPS) Program using new software, called Snugg Pro. The software creates a 20-plus page report for customers after the in- home energy audit.
The report creates a detailed analysis of the home and what changes and improvements could be made to save the customer money. It is designed to be easy for the average homeowner to understand by not only outlining energy efficiency upgrades that could be made, but explaining what the recommended improvements are, why they are important, and how they will impact customers’ energy usage and rates. In some cases, photos of the house or stock images are used and a glossary of terms is included so customers can better comprehend the recommendations outlined in the report.
More data is collected through the new software, as compared to the previous audit software, which leads to more informed recommendations. Information is collected on many different aspects of the house such as the appliances and HVAC system, which helps create a more detailed report. The report identifies an overall improvement plan that analyzes the cost of all the recommended upgrades and compares it with the overall savings that would be made. However, it also breaks down the cost and energy savings potential of each individual upgrade for customers who want to make just a few home
The reports are tailored to the customer. Each report contains a section that identifies homeowner concerns, which are explored throughout the audit. Specific rebates a homeowner may be eligible for are also highlighted.
The rebates offered and their respective amounts vary based on the territory the customer lives in, which the audit report takes into account. Each report contains a page that outlines recommendations for customers
to make that will earn them rebates from their light department based on each MLP’s specific offerings.
The reports also contain a “Massachusetts Home Scorecard” designed by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. The scorecard compares data from the audit report against data of an average home in Massachusetts in different areas such as yearly energy costs, home energy use, and home carbon footprint, and assigns customers a numerical “score”. It outlines how the customer’s home performed in those categories at the time of the audit and identifies how much money, energy usage, and carbon emissions could be saved if the customer makes the recommended efficiency improvements. If customers implement those changes in their homes, their score will decrease, which means they are reducing their home’s carbon emissions. “As audit software technology progresses, the HELPS Program strives to improve along with it,” said MMWEC Energy Efficiency Program Manager Joseph Coles. “The new software creates an enhanced experience for the MLP customers.
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