Why should we care about making our homes more energy efficient? One reason is to save money - the more efficient your home, the lower your utility bills. Another reason is to help prevent climate change, because efficient homes require less energy and as a result, produce less carbon pollution. Winchester’s buildings provide the single greatest opportunity for us to meet our carbon pollution reduction goal of 80% by 2050 from our 2017 baseline quantity. The energy we use to light, heat, and cool our homes, offices, municipal, and commercial buildings in Winchester account for more than half our total carbon pollution. In 2017, buildings produced 63% of Winchester’s total carbon pollution with residential buildings being the largest contributor, producing 43% of the town’s total carbon pollution.
There are several straightforward steps you can take as a Winchester resident to make your home more energy efficient:
Insulation and Air Sealing. Over time the building code in Winchester has become more stringent in terms of requiring homes to be energy efficient. As a result, newer homes tend to be more efficient than older homes. For one example, before 1965 the building code did not require homes to have any insulation at all. Today Winchester's building code is the Massachusetts Stretch Energy Code, which requires new homes to be highly insulated and with minimal air leakage. However, most Winchester homes were built long enough ago that substantial opportunities exist to improve insulation and air sealing, which can substantially reduce energy usage and utility bills.
An easy and free way to determine whether there are insulation and air sealing opportunities at your home is to schedule a no-cost home Energy Assessment through the state's Mass Save program, by clicking on this link. The Energy Assessment may identify opportunities for wall and attic insulation, and air sealing around doors and windows.
Lighting, HVAC and Efficient Appliances. Your home Energy Assessment may also identify opportunities to switch to highly efficient LED lighting, programmable thermostats, more efficient heating systems, and more efficient home appliances (washing machines, refrigerators, etc.). Click on this link to learn more.
Regardless of the information provided by a Mass Save home Energy Assessment, you as homeowner retain the right to act on these recommendations - or not - as you see fit.
If the home Energy Assessment identifies energy efficiency opportunities for insulation, air sealing, more efficient heating systems and appliances, etc., you can then take advantage of Mass Save rebates for the work / systems. Click here to explore Mass Save's rebate website. Rebates range from $50 for an efficient clothes dryer all the way up to $15,000 for a heat pump home heating system. Mass Save will pay 75% of the cost of approved insulation projects (even more for income-qualified individuals), and 100% of the cost for air sealing projects. See details by clicking here. When considering a more efficient space heating system, we hope you will consider switching to a highly-efficient, all-electric heat pump system. Mass Save offers generous incentives for heat pump systems. To learn more about the importance of all-electric space heating (and water heating and cooking), click on the "Electrification" link at left.
Again, making your home more efficient starts by scheduling a no-cost home Energy Assessment.