On January 22, the Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC) kicked off their newest initiative: More Power to Choose. The program is a combination of the SEC’s past initiatives: Power to Choose in 2012, which gave Wellesley residents the opportunity to have their homes “powered” by green energy, and Power to Save in 2013, which sponsored free home energy assessments. Now, More Power to Choose offers both of these, as well as additional new and improved features.
The first addition to the program is a thermal image report program run by Sagewell, a private company working with the SEC to coordinate More Power to Choose. Last winter, heat sensitive cameras took pictures of all the homes in Wellesley, creating pictures that show where in each house the most energy is lost. To receive the thermal image of their home, all Wellesley residents need to do is enter their address, and Sagewell will email them the image of their home. The SEC is also still offering in-home energy assessments similar to the ones conducted during Power to Save.
After the energy assessment(s), Sagewell can help direct residents on how to make adjustments specific to their home to help reduce energy loss. As one green energy option, the SEC will continue to offer green energy as it did during the Power to Choose initiative, where residents can sign up to pay for the wind-powered energy in town. New this year, the SEC has added a solar power option, through which Wellesley residents can install solar panels directly onto their homes. Since some houses in town are not compatible for solar, there is also the option of contributing to a group purchase of solar panels through which renewable energy will be transferred to multiple homes.
In 2012, Power to Choose earned Wellesley the title of third in the nation for participation in voluntary renewable energy and became the only Environmental Protection Agency-certified “Green Community” in Massachusetts. The SEC is hoping that with More Power to Choose they are able to bring those numbers up and reach even greater results. To do that they are promoting the intiative through the Wellesley Green Collaborative, which is made up of all the “green”-related organizations and departments in town, including Sustainable Wellesley and the high school’s Green Team.