Report by Paula Antolini, May 31, 2022, 5:32PM EDT
Funding awarded through the Energize Connecticut Community Partnership Initiative
Bethel, Conn., May 23, 2022 – Recently, the Energy Conservation Committee of Bethel was chosen by the Sponsors of Energize Connecticut, Eversource and United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc., to receive a $10,000 grant through its Community Partnership Initiative. In an effort to make energy efficiency affordable and accessible to all, this new program strives to provide local community groups, nonprofit organizations and municipalities with grants to further energy efficiency adoption and educate residents and businesses on the energy efficiency solutions available to them.
This grant supports outreach to encourage participation in Home Energy Solutions. Participating residents will work with an Eversource approved contractor who will help guide weatherization and other energy efficiency measures in their home.
Bethel town first selectman, Matt Knickerbocker, responded to news of the award. “The Town of Bethel is glad to be a recipient of the Energize Connecticut Community Partnership Initiative grant. The funding will support HeatSmart Bethel, a program designed to help residents better understand their home and the options available to them when it comes to heating and cooling. Bethel has already made strides towards energy efficiency and transitioning to renewables through the various projects of the Energy Conservation Committee. The HeatSmart program is another step in the journey.”
The town is working with People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE) to run the campaign. Bernie Pelletier, the vice president of this local non-profit noted, “The grant will allow HeatSmart to continue its education and outreach to the citizens of Bethel. Currently, less than one in four households in the town have taken advantage of Home Energy Solutions. We’d love to see everyone access this low-cost/no-cost program. It’s an easy way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort, save money, and reduce local air pollution through decreased emissions.”
To apply for the Community Partnership Initiative, participants outlined specific outreach goals, methods and efforts that they plan to implement related to home energy efficiency. Additionally, all applicants were asked to describe the role of local stakeholders in their efforts, including any community-based organizations they partnered with on their application, as well as how their anticipated funding will allow them to help their community save money and energy.
Participants chose to work towards one of four energy efficiency goals. The town of Bethel’s project focuses on the following:
Goal 1: Demonstrating actions that will lead to a 10% increase in homes participating in Home Energy Solutions (through the municipality’s Energize CT utility sponsor).
“The Community Partnership Initiative is a unique way to reach people in different communities, further energy efficiency program participation and help them lower their energy bills and usage year-round – it’s a win-win for all involved,” said Eversource Executive Vice President of Customer Experience and Energy Strategy, Penni Conner.
“We are eager to work with the selected participants to make equity in energy efficiency a reality in our communities, and the participants represent a range of organizations who can help make that happen,” said Frank Reynolds, President and CEO of CNG, SCG and UI. “We have no doubt that each will go above and beyond with their energy efficiency initiatives.”
Bethel residents can learn more about the HeatSmart Bethel program and sign up at: HeatSmartCT.org/Bethel or call 203-292-8088 and mention “HeatSmart Bethel.”
For more information on the Community Partnership Initiative, please visit EnergizeCT.com/yourtown/community-partnership.