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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

Energy Smart Homes

Greenfield, Massachusetts

Federal Funding: $160,915
Project Timeline: February 2011 – February 2014

Latest Update

The Town of Greenfield has continued to focus on organizing and conducting outreach for the Energy Smart Homes Program. The Program completed a major door-to-door canvassing effort, knocking on every door in town at least once. Three canvassers were hired and trained to conduct the outreach using lessons learned from previous experiences, and phone follow-ups were made with people identified as interested. The Program also organized four house parties. To encourage participation from multi-family properties, the staff has identified 10 landlords, 20 properties, and 41 units that will qualify for the Community Action program. The Town also met to discuss potential paths of action that could be taken over the final eight months of the program. In the coming months, Greenfield plans to conduct extensive follow-up interviews with residents they have referred to weatherization programs during previous outreach efforts. It also plans to continue work with renters and landlords and consider replication strategies for neighboring communities.

Project Summary

Raising Awareness through Weatherization Opportunities for Town Residents

Greenfield, Massachusetts, experiences cold New England winters, has below-average median income, and has an aging housing stock in poor condition. The Energy Smart Homes Program will help counteract these conditions by educating residents about the benefits of retrofitting their homes. This multi-pronged program will decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and help residents heat their homes by teaching residents that retrofits are available for renters as well as homeowners and do not require large upfront expenditures. Conducted over three years, the program will focus on a different area of Greenfield each year. The first year is focused on downtown Greenfield, where renters occupy over 73% of the households. The second year will focus on non-central neighborhoods, followed by a third year focus on homes on the outskirts of town. The program will alert residents to the importance of weatherization and provide an easy-to-understand guide to existing resources and funding opportunities available to Greenfield residents.

To raise awareness about the ease and benefits of retrofitting, the program will use door-to-door canvassing to target residents who could gain the greatest benefit from available weatherization programs. The program will also distribute education and outreach materials, offer one-on-one counseling to target populations, and hold workshops for landlords and citizens to educate them about available resources. The program will also take thermal photographs of downtown homes to target those most in need of retrofits, to motivate residents to take action, and to collect data on energy use and costs to promote the potential financial savings.

The Energy Smart Homes Program will create jobs for weatherization graduates from Greenfield Community College and Franklin County, and it will help forge strong partnerships between the Town and local schools, utilities, and non-profit organizations. The program coordinator will also create a “How To” kit for distribution to other communities who are interested in promoting home energy retrofits. The program will help Greenfield meet its energy and GHG emission reduction goals and, above all, will help end confusion about home weatherization options.

Community Characteristics

Population 18,500
Area 21.9 square miles
Government Type Town
Community Type Suburban
Median Household Income $33,110

Program Results

  Reported Results (as of June 2013) Projected Cumulative Results
Annual GHG Reductions 1,191 mt CO2e 2,483 mt CO2e
Annual Energy Cost Savings $224,953 $427,000
Houses Retrofitted 249 854

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