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Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge

Location: 14 Connecticut towns (Bethany, Cheshire, East Haddam, East Hampton, Glastonbury, Lebanon, Mansfield, Portland, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, Wethersfield, Wilton, and Windham)
Seed Funding: $4.2 million
Target Building Type: Residential
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Small Changes, Big Results with the Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge April 19, 2011

Volunteers Help Connecticut Homeowners Save Energy

Electricity use in Connecticut households has increased 10-15% in the last decade—topping its New England neighbors by 25%. What's more, the cost of electricity has gone up 90%, making Connecticut the state with the second highest electricity rates in the nation.

The Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge program is using innovative community organizing techniques, performance-based rewards for municipalities and community organizations, and a range of other program offerings to help households in 14 target communities across Connecticut achieve 20% energy reduction.

Clean Energy Corps Leads the Charge

Drawing from a group of environmentally minded young professionals, Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge has created an on-the-ground team—the "Clean Energy Corps"—to educate homeowners on energy efficiency measures, promote online tools available for their use, and provide instant energy efficiency improvements. This Corps works with community groups and civic leaders to help homeowners as they move through a range of energy efficiency improvements, from installing compact fluorescent lights, all the way to more complex upgrades (including installing solar power). Along the way, residents earn points for their towns and community organizations that can be redeemed for energy-related technology such as LED lighting or electric charging stations.

Team partners include nine public, private, academic, and nonprofit organizations who together are encouraging residents in 14 towns to participate in home energy assessments and upgrades by working through certified professionals under contract with the program in order to enroll homeowners in state ratepayer funded programs to promote their subsidized assessment, rebates, and financing offerings.

The Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge provides energy workshops, an on-line DIY energy assessment tool and energy tracker, and a resource of information to help guide homeowners. A free CFL install program provides lead-generation as well.


Bob Wall

U.S. Department of Energy
Better Buildings Neighborhood Program