Residents Urged to Participate in the Renew Boston Program

September 21, 2011
By

The Neighborhood of Affordable Housing’s (NOAH) Kim Foltz was at Monday night’s Orients Heights Neighborhood Council meeting to urge East Boston participation in the city’s Renew Boston program.

NOAH is one of 13 community-based organizations that has been tapped to spearhead the program in Eastie.

“We hold free Energy Efficiency counseling in English and Spanish where residents can learn about this no-cost program; come learn about this City initiative to help you conserve energy, save money and lower your utility bills,” said Foltz. “You could get up to $3,500 in air sealing and weatherization funding, plus a free home energy check-up and free energy upgrades.”

A household of four making an annual income between $50,000 to $100,000 can get up to $3,500 in energy efficient upgrades in their homes at no cost to the homeowner.

Even homeowners making more than $100,000 can get their upgrades done while only paying 25 percent of the cost.

NOAH and 12 others have launched a community-based marketing and outreach strategy in order to connect as many as 3,000 Boston households with no-cost weatherization services over the past few months.

With NSTAR and National Grid as partners, Renew Boston is the nation’s first partnership between municipal government and investor-owned utilities for co-delivery of energy efficiency home improvements.

The program uses $1.8 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) to leverage rebates available under existing energy efficiency programs administered by NSTAR and National Grid or Boston residents within 60-120 percent of the state median income.

The no-cost energy efficiency improvements are provided by Mass Energy Consumers Alliance and Next Step Living, a Boston-based energy services company.

Mayor Thomas Menino said he expects Renew Boston to complete more than $11.9 million in energy efficiency improvements throughout Eastie and the city, saving Boston residents over $3.4 million in annual energy costs, and also to create 58 local green jobs.

To make residents aware of Renew Boston, the Mayor has been relying on NOAH to engage residents in ways that build on work they already perform in the areas of health, wellness, and community and workforce development.

NOAH will ensure that Renew Boston’s marketing and outreach work reaches residents who have traditionally not accessed weatherization programs, particularly moderate income Bostonians and residents for whom English is a second language.

“With this funding, Renew Boston continues to create local green jobs,” said Menino.  “The work that these community organizations will perform will help thousands of Bostonians to save energy and money.”

Menino said the City of Boston needs to help Bostonians with their energy needs, through programs like Food and Fuel campaign and Boston Buying Power, the City’s bulk power purchasing program for small businesses.

“In Boston, where space heating is the largest share of energy bills, and older building stock accounts for nearly 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, Renew Boston will not only help residents with their fuel bills, but will help meet the City’s climate change goals, “ said Foltz.

For more information, or to make an appointment, please contact Kim Foltz at 617-418-8241 or Doribel Tercero-Parker at 617-418-8249 or dtercero@noahcdc.org.

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