There’s a fierce battle going down in the otherwise staid state of Connecticut that’s pitting neighbor against neighbor and community against community to see who will emerge victorious in the quest to live more efficiency. Okay, so the Constitution State’s new Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge isn’t that cutthroat and probably won’t result in acts of sabotage or prompt Greenwich matrons to sneak around their neighbor's property at night with infrared cameras trying to detect sources of home heat loss. But when you use the words “neighbor” and “challenge,” it does bring out the competitive edge in many homeowners.
What the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge is is a three-year program — described as a "community energy savings campaign" — that encourages homeowners in 14 different towns to get their collective acts together when it comes to energy-saving home improvements.
The ultimate goal of the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge is to get at least 10 percent of the homeowners in each of the 14 towns to reduce their household energy by 20 percent. The end result would be $150 million in energy savings and give Connecticut bragging rights for being the most energy-efficient state in the nation. Or at least this is what Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is thinking.
Says Malloy in an official press release:
The Neighbor to Neighbor Energy challenge demonstrates Connecticut’s leadership in finding innovative solutions to lowering energy bills and making homes more energy efficient. The staff and volunteers who brought this program to our communities are to be commended for making energy efficiency easy for residents to bring into their own homes. The high cost of energy is a major drain on household budgets and hits commerce hard. Like Neighbor to Neighbor, the programs run by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund help alleviate the economic strain and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, all good things for Connecticut and our citizens.
Each town will also host workshops and events to further promote household energy efficiency. And the more involved the residents of a town are in the challenge, the more the town benefits through a rewards program. It’s not clear exactly what the rewards will be, although the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge website does list the installation of free, solar-powered LED street lights as one perk of participating.
The 14 Connecticut towns duking it out to achieve maximum energy efficiency are Bethany, Cheshire, East Haddam, East Hampton, Glastonbury, Lebandon, Mansfield, Portland, Ridgefield, Westfield, Westport, Weston, Wethersfield, Wilton, and Windham. Each town has its own Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge Facebook page to help residents keep abreast of community events and activities, and news.
Do you live in one of the towns participating in the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge? And more importantly, have you signed up?