- City of Cambridge Partner ‘All In Energy’ Continues Efforts To Help Renters and Owners Save Money and Energy During COVID-19
City of Cambridge Partner ‘All In Energy’ Continues Efforts To Help Renters and Owners Save Money and Energy During COVID-19
The City of Cambridge is continuing its partnership with All In Energy, a local nonprofit, to increase and enhance energy efficiency outreach to renters in the city.
The second year of the partnership builds on a successful first year. From July 2019 to March 2020 when the city shut down, All In Energy helped 191 Cambridge renters and 113 homeowners get no-cost home energy assessments. The estimated annual energy savings for renters per apartment ranged from $22 to $635, with an average per apartment of $190. Overall, renters in Cambridge should save $31,265 annually from these assessments.
The partnership is now expanding to engage landlords, as well renters, to help them access energy-saving services for their buildings. All In Energy and its partner Neeco, a Mass Save® participating Home Performance Contractor, provide no-cost virtual home energy assessments to renters, landlords, and homeowners in small residential buildings in Cambridge. Right now, for a limited-time, landlords and homeowners of 1-4 unit residential buildings can access 100% off the cost of all approved insulation through the Mass Save® program, if they reach out to schedule their no-cost home energy assessment before September 30. To schedule a no-cost energy assessment, visit allinenergy.org/cambridge.
The energy assessments are currently being offered virtually, using a phone and video chat or photos sent via email reducing contact during COVID times. Renters can still receive eligible instant energy savings measures such as LED light bulbs, high-efficiency shower heads, programmable thermostats, and advanced power strips. These are mailed at no cost after the assessment. Landlords and building owners can also access additional discounts and incentives, including, where applicable, no-cost targeted air sealing and 100% off approved insulation if they sign up by September 30. These energy upgrades can make a building more comfortable and reduce maintenance costs. Insulation combined with no-cost air sealing also reduces insect and rodent infiltration, reduces noise levels in the building and could even allow the owner to install smaller HVAC systems in the future.
“Now is the perfect time for landlords and homeowners, to schedule their no-cost virtual home energy assessment,” said Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development at the City of Cambridge. “The 100% incentive on approved insulation work is a never-before-offered opportunity for building owners to make substantial upgrades to their property. We highly encourage our residents to take advantage of this opportunity before September 30.”
“The program offers benefits to both renters and building owners that save money and energy - and right now with COVID-19, we know every dollar counts, said Rouwenna Altemose, Co-Executive Director of All In Energy. “In the first year, we met many renters who did not realize they could take advantage of a no-cost home energy assessment, even though they, like nearly all utility rate-payers, contribute to the Mass Save® program monthly through an ‘energy efficiency’ charge on their bills. We have been happy to help so many renters access these energy savings and are looking forward to a second year with the city.”
“I was surprised by how much we can save by just changing light bulbs! I also learned about faucet aerators. It was interesting to find out that some parts of the house have better insulation than others. The energy adviser was very helpful and explained to me what repairs we could do to save more energy. Overall excellent!”
Marta, Cambridge Renter.
All In Energy’s outreach model focuses on underserved populations – historically, renters, moderate income households, non-native English speakers, and people of color – to help them save money on their utility bills by connecting them with energy efficiency resources and renewable energy programs. The organization also serves as a talent pipeline for workforce development in the sector, expanding clean energy job opportunities for individuals in underrepresented groups through a paid, hands-on training program. All In Energy has taken on a new approach to outreach to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the first year’s efforts focused on face-to-face interactions, tabling at local events, and community presentations to reach residents, the organization is now collaborating with the city to reach residents through phone calls, social media, mailers, webinars, and other socially distanced strategies, at least until it is safe to return to in person outreach.
The city’s partnership with All In Energy will build on a variety of city programs and resources that help Cambridge households save money and become more energy efficient, including No-Cost Home Energy Assessments, the Multi-Family Energy Program, which provides no-cost energy efficiency assessments and solar assessments to owners of multi-family buildings with 5 or more, and the Cambridge Community Electricity Program, which connects residents to affordable and local renewable electricity. To learn more about the city’s energy efficiency resources, visit cambridgeenergyalliance.org/
All In Energy specializes in driving adoption of clean energy technologies and services in underserved communities. The nonprofit organization recruits, hires, and trains members of communities underrepresented in the clean energy workforce, providing them with the skills and experience necessary for clean energy careers. To learn more about All In Energy’s no-cost home assessments or to get in contact, visit www.allinenergy.org.