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""Between fans and air conditioners in the summer and heaters in the winter, Massachusetts residents are almost always running systems to heat or cool their homes.

However, you can easily boost your home’s energy efficiency —  for the summer and the winter — to keep costs down and help the environment. The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) provides tips for improving and funding energy efficiency in your home without breaking a sweat.

Energy Efficiency Assessment  

The first step toward making your home more energy efficient is to take an online home energy assessment. If your home is a good candidate based on your results, you will be eligible to schedule a free Mass Save® in-person home energy assessment. The assessment will include a report with customized energy efficiency recommendations, so you can determine which improvements are right for your home. You may also be able to get no-cost installation of LED light bulbs and water-saving devices.

Energy-Efficient Improvements for Your Home

Once you or your energy specialist has determined how energy efficient your home is, you can choose which improvements make the most “cents” for you. The Mass Save® program provides rebates and assistance on many of the most common improvements.

  • Air Conditioners — Buy an air conditioner with an ENERGY STAR® label to ensure your unit is energy efficient. ENERGY STAR® is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that aims to protect the environment by partnering with private organizations to make more energy-efficient products.
  • Weather Stripping and Insulation — Weather-strip windows, doors, and attic accesses to stop air leaks and reduce the amount of energy needed to heat or cool your home. Insulating attics, walls, and flooring above unheated basements or crawl spaces can also help lower your energy bills.
  • Programmable and Wireless Thermostats — Purchase a programmable or wireless thermostat, which lets you schedule temperature changes and save energy when you’re out of the house. Newer wireless models can be adjusted remotely, and some models are smart enough to learn your schedule and preferences over time to save you more.
  • Air-Source Heat Pump Water Heater — Install an air-source heat pump water heater, which pulls energy from the surrounding air and adds it to your hot water storage tank. These water heating units can be two to three times more energy efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters, are significantly more efficient than gas water heaters, and are safer for your home.
  • Geothermal Ground-Source Heat Pumps — Install a geothermal ground-source heat pump, which can heat and cool buildings by harnessing energy in the ground or from a body of water and transferring it through underground piping. Geothermal energy systems can last up to 25 years and are extremely energy efficient.
  • Biomass Heating Systems — Consider installing a biomass heating system that uses organic matter like wood to produce heat. Organic materials can produce just as much heat as traditional fossil fuels, but cost less.

Financing Your Improvements

If you want to make energy-efficient improvements in your home but are not sure if you can afford them, there are many ways to get discounts and lower the cost of the improvements.

  • Rebates and Incentives — Mass Save® has energy efficiency rebates and incentives that can help lower the cost of buying energy-efficient products such as light bulbs, heat pumps, programmable and wireless thermostats, and more.
  • Mass Save® HEAT Loan — The Mass Save® HEAT Loan program provides 0 percent interest financing on loans of up to $25,000 for eligible homeowners who want to make their homes greener. These loans can fund qualified improvements including insulation, central heat pumps, and solar hot water heaters.

By making improvements and taking advantage of energy-efficiency incentives, you can ensure that you have a greener home and lower energy costs in the long term. Take the online home assessment to start the process.

Share this post with family and friends to help them save on energy this summer. Tweet @MassGov or comment below with any questions.

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