Requesting a no cost energy audit put Bianca Taylor on a path to lowering greenhouse gas emissions from her three-family rental unit.
Taylor took advantage of Unitil’s no cost Mass Save Home Energy Assessment and Weatherization program that recommended upgrading insulation and subsequently new heat pumps and a new natural gas boiler.
“It wasn’t just about saving money, but also on how we could reduce our carbon footprint,” Taylor said. Unitil anticipates that the new equipment will eliminate 1.8 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually, which is equivalent to taking a gasoline powered vehicle traveling nearly 5,000 miles annually off the road.
“This is a valuable service that helps identify energy saving opportunities and incentives for approved upgrades,” said Unitil External Affairs Manager Alec O’Meara. “Customers may not be aware of all of the efficiency options that may be available to them, so an audit can be a great starting point for planning out home improvements.”
An energy specialist from Making Opportunity Count (MOC) conducted an in-person energy assessment of Taylor’s home. A comprehensive no-obligation report was generated identifying areas for improvement.
For Taylor, it was more than simply wanting to make her unit more efficient; it was about giving back to the community by creating safe and affordable housing for lower income families. “We really work to keep the rents low to make the apartments affordable and just as importantly comfortable and energy efficient as possible,” she said.
In 2015, the Fitchburg resident purchased the home, which was built in late 1800’s. The structure lacked proper insulation, caulking and sealing, so the entire building was insulated and sealed as outlined in the energy audit. Taylor wanted to make further energy efficiency improvements, so she also took advantage of Unitil’s Mass Save heat pump program.
It was Kevin Parse, a senior energy efficiency program coordinator at Unitil, who Taylor said was eager to work with her on upgrading the existing heating systems to heat pumps.
“On the ground-level floor, it has an existing hot water baseboard system, which is perfect for a high-efficiency natural gas system for the residents. Floors two and three lacked an existing distribution system, which made ductless mini-split heat pumps a logical upgrade that will provide significant efficiency and comfort improvements,” Parse said.
Because Taylor’s tenants qualify for Federal Fuel Assistance, the purchase and installation for two apartment units was at no cost.
“We are really happy with the heat pumps. I am super excited that Unitil was able to do this. It’s a huge win for the tenants and just as importantly the planet,” concluded Taylor.
For more about no-cost Mass Save Home Energy Assessments and other programs, please visit unitil.com or masssave.com.