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National Report Spotlights Energy Efficiency In Westport

Solar panels were installed on approximately 60 Westport homes that participated in the Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Home Energy Challenge.
Solar panels were installed on approximately 60 Westport homes that participated in the Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Home Energy Challenge. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport has gained national recognition as a leader in the energy reform revolution for dramatically cutting the town’s energy costs through the Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge .

The town’s efforts are detailed in “ Powering Up America: The Revolution Began Yesterday ,” a report about energy efficiency and clean energy adoption happening at state and local levels throughout the country. The report was presented during a Capitol Hill briefing last Wednesday.

“Pristine streets lead from one beautifully appointed home to another. Yet for years, Westport has harbored a dirty secret: unusually wasteful energy use,” the report reads.

To change this, Westport’s Green Task Force, led by David Mann, launched the Westport Home Energy Challenge, which sought to encourage residents to do home audits, apply for upgrades and learn more about options for installing solar power.

“The project, which was initially slow to take hold due to a lack of funding, took off when Westport joined a statewide pilot program called the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Home Energy Challenge, administered by the state’s Clean Energy Fund,” the report reads.

Westport was one of 14 towns that participated in the three-year challenge. The program, which began in 2010 and ended this month, challenged residents in the participating towns to reduce their home’s energy use by 20 percent. Each town earned rewards based on resident participation.

A total of 686 Westport households received free energy assessments through the program. Of those, nearly 90 completed home efficiency upgrades and about 60 homes had solar panels installed.

As a whole, the town— which finished the challenge in first place— saved $353,089 per year in energy costs.

In addition to Westport, the report features energy-saving practices executed throughout the Milford Public Schools district. Communities in South Carolina and Pennsylvania are also highlighted in the report.

Commissioned by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation , a New Haven-based organization, the report was presented by U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), co-chairs of the House Energy Savings Performance Caucus.

The full report is available for viewing online .

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