How nice to see everyone’s effort culminate in an exciting and rewarding event, the Weatherization Roundtable! Held on September 13th, IES and partners, Worcester Community Action Council and the City of Worcester hosted over 100 guests and nine presenters to “Target Weatherization; Bringing Energy Efficiency Jobs and Projects to Central Massachusetts.” Contractors, vendors, suppliers, government officials, educators and citizens enjoyed the spectacular panoramic view of Worcester from the 9th floor of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences downtown conference room and were treated to superb presentations from industry leaders. Congressman Jim McGovern and Lt. Governor Tim Murray headlined the event and spoke of State and Federal weatherization programs. Both mentioned the important role of the IES in helping build the local market and the prospects of “getting it right” in Massachusetts to become an example and contributor to national efforts and programs.
Next Step Living CEO Geoff Chapin proudly discussed ways residents and homeowners can access programs and the benefits of doing so and gave evidence of the momentum in this industry by highlighting Next Step’s contracted weatherization services with thousands of homes throughout the metro-Boston area. Steve Cowell, CEO of Conservation Services Group, a lead agency who provides audits and energy efficiency programs throughout all of New England; detailed a new federal Home Star program that would provide billions of dollars of market incentives and an energy efficiency rating system. A lively networking session preceded the event, and Jill Dagilis closed the morning’s activities by facilitating an audience Q&A. A full list of speakers, presentations and news releases are posted on our news and events page.
This roundtable was remarkable in the breadth of programs and services that currently exist. We received a lot of feedback from presenters and participants and are working with them to craft ways to promote these programs and to plug gaps for remaining and future needs of expanded weatherization. Clark University and IES focus groups have been discussing weatherization models from other areas (Bedford, NY; Cambridge, MA; Boulder, CO; Berkeley, CA) in order to connect to and learn from other areas to improve the development of a successful local model. We have indentified and are strategizing about programs to overcome major sector barriers including financing, education and accesss, which we will continue to work to develop locally and we encourage your continued and active support, input and help.
IES will continue to work to develop networking opportunities to connect property owners and contractors and if you’re not sure who to contact for energy efficiency work, feel free to give IES a call at (508)751-4639 and we will try to direct you to the appropriate contact(s).
Going forward, IES is planning a neighborhood scale weatherization pilot program and a second roundtable in the spring of ’11. We realize that our effectiveness is multiplied by connecting to a wide breadth of individuals and companies and working with them to achieve their goals, learn from their experiences and by connecting them to each other and assisting them as they continue to build and expand their businesses and project portfolios. Thanks for your support and encouragement and we look forward to the exciting programs ahead to reduce energy and fuel costs.