Beat the Summer Heat!

The summer heat is here and it’s time to think about ways to cool your home while conserving energy! You can take actions now that will keep you more comfortable during these hot summer days, save you some money, and help the environment!

Cool Your Home Efficiently 

• Consider using window A/C units to cool specific spaces, and closing off those rooms that you don’t need to cool. By reducing the space you want to cool, you’ll be more comfortable and you’ll save money!

• Cool your house at night by opening windows and using fans to cool off if you don’t have air conditioning. Close windows early in the morning and keep them closed all day.

• Use ceiling and portable fans to blow air on you and your family members. Remember: fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you’re not in the same room.

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Myth Busting Residential Solar Power

Thinking about switching to solar power but have some concerns? It is easy to become overwhelmed with ideas and opinions, especially today with the rate at which information is produced and spread, but it’s important to take the time to seek out the truth. There are a lot of misconceptions about residential solar power, so let’s bust the myths and clear the clouds that surround your potential solar dreams!

Rooftop Solar

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Celebrate Earth Month with CET

By Willow Cohn, Community Outreach and Education Fellow

Have you been wondering what events to attend to celebrate Earth Month? Well, wonder no more! CET’s Outreach Team will be attending these great events below. We will be discussing many of our programs including: how to go green with a no-cost home energy assessment, how to start investing in local, renewable energy, tips on starting you own composting system, and great Electric Vehicle rebate programs, just to name a few. Every sustainable action counts! Happy Earth Month!

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Drive Green with Mass Energy’s Electric Vehicle Discount Program!

By Willow Cohn, Outreach and Education EcoFellow

Have you been considering buying an electric vehicle (EV)? Well, now is the right time! In November 2016, Mass Energy launched
Drive Green, a limited-time electric vehicle discount program aiming to make choosing an EV easier. Mass Energy designed the program to include affordable, available, practical electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars. Anyone can participate and receive a discount to purchase or lease an EV at participating dealers. Drive Green is modeled after similar successful programs in Colorado and Utah and is an extension of buyers’ groups for energy consumers that Mass Energy has operated since 1982. Mass Energy is a Boston-based nonprofit working to harness the collective power of energy consumers to speed the transition to a low-carbon future. You can learn more about their programs here.

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NESEA Pro Tour with the EcoFellows

EcoFellows in front of passive house on NESEA your

By Morgan O’Connor, Marketing and High Performance Building EcoFellow

Recently the EcoFellows toured two very different, yet highly efficient, building projects in Western Massachusetts. The tour was put on by our friends at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) as part of their Pro Tour Series. Both projects were the work of local contractors Kent Hicks Construction, one of them being his own home and office.

Kent lives in a former grist mill that was built in 1850. In order to convert it into a home residence and office space he completed a deep energy retrofit. A deep energy retrofit is a way of renovating a space to address all energy loads and increase efficiency.

However, what made this project exceptional was Kent’s dedication to maintaining the integrity and aesthetic of the old mill building. Throughout the project, deconstruction and repurposing of original materials was a priority. This allowed for unique design features, like wainscoting made from their original metal roofing, and a dining room table made from the mill’s machinery. The flooring downstairs is also original and shows the indentations of former mill employees’ work stations. This project is a testament to how style  and energy efficiency can work together to create a beautiful and sustainable home, without compromising historical authenticity.

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