Take the Boston 500 Challenge to Save Energy and Money

By Gretchen O’Neill
As published on westroxburypatch.com
May 2013

Every Memorial Day, Indianapolis is home to the Indy 500, an automobile race for cars whose fuel economy is less than two miles per gallon. This Saturday, June 1, Boston will have its own very different race: the Boston 500, a citywide day of action organized by Mayor Menino’s Renew Boston initiative to help residents save energy, money, and the planet.

On this day, in neighborhoods across Boston, citizens and community organizations will host events that will help to mobilize 500 Boston households to sign up for a no-cost home-energy assessment and take steps toward weatherizing their homes. Five hundred households committing to weatherize on June 1 will eliminate 224 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, save residents more than $50,000 on their annual energy bills, reduce emissions that cause respiratory diseases, and create new “green” jobs.

Also on this day, Brian Swett, City of Boston Chief of Energy and Environment, in partnership with National Grid and NSTAR, will make a special announcement about a new incentive for duplexes and triple-deckers in Boston.

If you’ve had an energy assessment and implemented some or all of the recommendations, you’re already saving money. I had insulation blown into my house’s walls last March, reducing my gas usage by 23 percent this past winter. Remember that you can spread out your insulation and other weatherization work over more than one year, making use each year of the moneys for which you are eligible.

If you haven’t yet had your assessment, this would be a great time to sign up for the Boston 500 challenge. West Roxbury property owners, landlords, small condo associations, and renters who live in or own 1 to 4 unit buildings are eligible. The no-cost energy assessment gives you free, instant savings measures such as high-efficiency light bulbs, programmable thermostats, and water-saving devices. In addition, you may qualify for up to $2,000 for insulation and air sealing and a 0 percent loan to finance insulation, heating systems, and other energy-efficient upgrades. And there’s more: the opportunity for appliance and equipment rebates for heating systems, lighting, and cooling equipment.

So what are you waiting for? West Roxbury Saves Energy encourages you to visit renewboston.org/boston500 for more information and to sign up online for your free home-energy assessment. Let’s help the City meet the Boston 500 challenge. As for the Indy 500, well, as they say: “DON’T try that at home.” Boston 500? Please DO!