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Autumn is here and that means that the winter heating season is just around the corner. You may have heard the news – the basic service rate for electricity customers is likely to be drastically higher this year due to continued natural gas constraints. What does that mean for homeowners? You want your home to be as efficient as possible to cut down on energy usage and lower your bills.

Cities and towns across the Commonwealth are using their Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities grant funds for a variety of projects that help reduce energy consumption. One town in Northwest Massachusetts has found a creative do-it-yourself solution. Gill is using its Green Communities Designation Grant to host workshops teaching residents how to make their own “winserts.”

Winsert in Gill

Winsert in Gill

Winserts are reusable transparent panels that fit snugly inside window jambs to add two extra layers of glazing. A properly-constructed winsert can reduce heat loss from a typical single- or double-glazed window by up to 50 percent, more than paying for the cost of the winserts in less than one year.

One Gill resident and workshop participant decided that it would double as a great holiday gift – talk about efficiency.

Even if your community isn’t offering winsert workshops, DOER encourages you to prepare for winter energy prices by getting informed. We have compiled tips and program information in one convenient place.

Written By:


Assistant Secretary of Communications and Public Affairs

Mary-Leah Assad is Assistant Secretary of Communications and Public Affairs. Before that, as Acting Deputy Director of the Green Communities Division, she assisted communities in their clean energy goals. Mary-Leah has played a variety of communications roles throughout the Commonwealth, and worked as Deputy Chief of Staff at the Department of Children and Families . In her free time she loves to cook, practice yoga and travel to St. John USVI.


Rooftop Solar Challenge Coordinator

Emma Krause is the Rooftop Solar Challenge (RSC) Coordinator at DOER in the Green Communities Division. RSC, a $12 million multi-state U.S. Department of Energy grant program, works to reduce soft costs around solar PV. Emma also works with the Renewables Division on the DOER solar financing program and community shared solar initiatives. She was valedictorian of her Emerson College class, where she earned her B.S. in Communications Studies, with minors in Literature and Political Science (a result of her penchant for ‘The West Wing’). Emma holds dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship and can be found on her bike or yoga mat when out-of-the-office.

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