What is an energy challenge?
An energy challenge is a program to stimulate a community to become more energy efficient. The challenge organization will promote energy efficiency through friendly competition, rewards, prizes and easy to use information for taking action.
Why should I register?
Registering is a big part of the challenge. Signing up will allow you to gain rewards and join other energy challenge teams. Registering will also make it easier to track your actions and savings while also providing friendly reminders to help you keep up with your new energy saving habits.
What is Earth Aid, and why do I have to sign up separately?
Earth Aid is a company that has developed a program to track the actual utility use of individual households.They will help you understand your electric, gas and water use and provide feedback to you on how to achieve ongoing savings. You will earn reward points based on your actual energy savings. EarthAid provides a secure mechanism for you to link your utility account information for tracking. Earth Aid does not share this information with anyone, including the SouthCoast Energy Challenge.
Is it safe to give my utility information?
Our members privacy is extremely important to us. Rest assured that no one from Earth Aid will ever access information about your bank account, credit card, or personal information. This information is available to your utility company only, and Earth Aid only has access to the data regarding your utility consumption. By signing up for utility tracking, you allow Earth Aid to "read your meter" so that they can measure your energy use and report back to you on the amount you save over time” (http://www.earthaid.net/faq#q7).
Why should I get a home energy assessment?
With an energy assessment you will have all your light bulbs upgraded to energy efficient models, all your showerheads replaced with low flow (not low pressure) models, and your thermostat replaced with a programmable model that will save you money. And, ALL THIS IS FREE, including a detailed report on other energy efficiency measures – with associated credits and rebates -- that you can take to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.
I’ve already had an energy assessment, what else should I do?
Don’t wave goodbye to the idea of getting an energy assessment just yet. You are eligible for a free energy assessment yearly. So, if you had your assessment more than 12 months ago, you can do it again to see how the changes you’ve made measure up.
Aside from the assessment there are still plenty of other actions you can take. Two good first steps are to sign up to track your actual utility use (insert hyper-link to ‘track your utilities’ sign up page)(powered by Earth Aid) and complete the SouthCoast Energy Challenge Carbon Calculator.
I’m a business, how do I get involved?
Businesses can play a huge role in the SouthCoast Energy Challenge. The best way to help is to sign on as a partner in our rewards network (powered by Earth Aid). As a rewards partner, you can reach new customers and support your current customers with special discounts or coupons they earn by saving energy in their homes. You can also create an Energy Challenge team for your business and help promote Energy Efficiency through the Energy Challenge to your employees and customers.
What is the CO2 calculator and why should I use it?
The CO2 calculator is the best way for you to discover your true carbon emissions. It encompasses all the different ways you use energy and will provide show you the areas where you use, and can save, the most!
What is the South Coast?
All the towns that are south, but not east or west, of an imaginary line created from Mansfield to Carver. South Coast towns and cities include: Plainville, Mansfield, Norton, Taunton, Raynham, Middleborough, Carver, Wareham, North Attleboro, Attleboro, Seekonk, Rehoboth, Dighton, Berkley, Lakeville, Rochester, Marion, Swansea, Somerset, Fall River, Freetown, Acushnet, Mattapoiset, Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Fairhaven.
Can I join the challenge if I am not in the South Coast?
If you do not live or own a business in one of the cities or town in the South Coast you will not be able to register for the SouthCoast Energy Challenge. BUT, you can still have access to all the energy efficiency resources and information available on our web site. Feel free to use our site and information as a template to start an energy challenge in your area.
How do I set up a team?
To set up a team click see all teams on the Home page. On this page you will be able to join teams or set up a team of your own. You can join up to four Energy Challenge teams and your town team is your default team.
How do I earn rewards?
Once a month, you can earnpoints for saving electricity, natural gas, and water in your home. Our partner organization, Earth Aid, compares your consumption levels each month with your usage during the same month in past years. If you've reduced, you earn Earth Aid Rewards Points at the following rates:
- 1 Earth Aid Rewards Point for every 1kWh of electricity saved
- 1 Earth Aid Rewards Point for every 10 cubic feet of gas saved
- 1 Earth Aid Rewards Point for every 20 gallons of water saved”
How do I redeem rewards?
To redeem your earned rewards you will go to the rewards section of the website. This will show you how many points you have and the different places that you can redeem rewards.
What action will save me the most money?
The biggest money saving action you can take, with no up-front cost, is to complete a home energy assessment! The free energy efficiency changes that are included in your home energy assessment will save you at least $152 a year to start, and that’s before you take action on any suggested efficiency measures your energy expert recommends to you as a result of the assessment.
If you drive the speed limit and maintain your car’s tires at an appropriate pressure, you can as much as 11¢ per gallon!
Taking the step to weatherize your home will get you one of the biggest money savings – as much as $308 per year -- with a minimal upfront investment. Remember, there are Mass Save rebates and credits to help you pay for recommended household upgrades!
Is their financial help for weatherizing my home?
When you get an energy assessment, any recommendations made forweatherizations are financially covered, by the state, up to $2000. Most weatherizing is about $2500, so the typical out of pocket cost is about $500. Typically, you will earn this money back in about 6 months, after which you will save hundreds of dollars every year on your energy bills.