CHESHIRE -- Solar panels and fuel assistance were among the topics discussed at the senior center Monday, as 10 people gathered for an informational meeting concerning energy efficiency programs and benefits offered through Mass Save, a state program geared at providing home energy audits and energy efficiency rebates.
Kate Agin, a community outreach representative from Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO), hosted the meeting, filling in attendees on some of the encompassing and financially attractive programs currently available and continuing to develop in the commonwealth.
"We want [people] to know help is out there," Agin told the audience. "What we're trying to do is connect you with what you need ... and help you lower your bills."
Agin went on to inform attendees about the availability of fuel assistance, and the existence of and how to apply for NUStart, a WMECO program aimed at helping recipients of fuel assistance manage their accounts.
Availability ranges from one-person households with a yearly income of up to $31,271 to a five-person household with up to $69,759 and beyond.
The evening's second purpose was to highlight some of the efficiency measures being used to cut bills across the state.
To this end, Aric Brown, of Pittsfield's Center for Eco Technology, gave a PowerPoint presentation that took on efficiency and its financial perks for today's energy users.
"Utility companies are helping to pay for [these programs] because it's easier for them to pay for efficiency measures than build new power plants," Brown said. "... You end up spending less money, using less energy and making things better for yourself and the environment."
Brown wrapped up the meeting by encouraging attendees to look into companies that are beginning to install photovoltaic solar panels on customers' roofs for little or no cost in exchange for power purchase agreements.
Agin said she and Brown would continue to travel around the county providing information about the programs available.
For more information, visit www.mass.gov/dhcd.
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