An energy efficiency program cosponsored by National Grid and the city of Quincy will save participating residents $295,000 a year, according to a fact sheet provided by the utility. The program will also eliminate as much pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as if 668 cars were permanently taken off the road.
During 2016, nearly a thousand Quincy households received free energy audits through Quincy Saves. The households had an average of 21 incandescent light bulbs replaced with efficient LEDs, and nearly 200 houses had old-style analog thermostats replaced with programmable digital units, which can reduce heating costs and energy use.
Many households also took further action. HomeWorks Energy and other contractors replaced 112 older heating systems with efficient, state-of-the-art equipment, added insulation to 221 houses, and did air sealing work at 193 houses.
Mayor Tom Koch was pleased with the extent of residents’ involvement. “Quincy residents are concerned about the environment, slowing climate change, and saving money; getting a home energy assessment helps with all of that.”
In addition to HomeWorks Energy and National Grid, the City worked with Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET), a Cambridge nonprofit. According to Shelly Dein, Quincy’s energy director and the City’s point person for Quincy Saves, HomeWorks sent representatives to Quincy events and stores, where they met with residents and encouraged them to get the assessments. HEET helped with outreach to the city’s Asian community and did advance work to get HomeWorks personnel invited to meet residents at church fairs, lectures, movie screenings, and other public events.
National Grid set ambitious goals for the number of audits, new heating unit installations, and air sealing and insulation jobs performed by Quincy Saves, and according to Dein, the program easily met all goals, exceeding one by more than 1200 percent. As a result, National Grid will award the city $40,000, of which half will defray Quincy Saves program expenses and half will go toward an energy efficiency project, possibly the lease or purchase of an electric car for the city fleet.