Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

HAC Energy Assessments in High Demand

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 @ 10:36 AM
HAC Energy-1.jpgThe HAC Energy team includes Jim Ames (from left), Suzanne Smith, Jo Ann Cournoyer and Ruth Bechtold.

Typically on Cape Cod this is a slow time of year, but don’t tell that to HAC’s Energy Department which is busier than ever. “We are in high demand,” Suzanne Smith, HAC Energy’s intake/outreach coordinator, said.

Smith and Ruth Bechtold, who manages the Energy Department, attributed that demand to the frigid temperatures which have left its mark on the Cape this winter. Because of the weather, residents are looking for ways to keep their home warmer and reduce their energy costs.

Working with Cape Light Compact, HAC offers free energy assessments throughout the year to low-income residents living in single-family and multi-family homes on Cape Cod and the Islands, as well as Wareham. Those who receive fuel assistance or are eligible to receive fuel assistance or discounted utility rates can qualify for a HAC energy assessment.

HAC’s energy auditors, Jim Ames and Joshua Trott, conduct the assessments, which include replacing all inefficient light bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs and checking refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioning units, dehumidifiers, and washing machines to determine if they are eligible for replacement.

As part of the assessment, they will inspect a home’s heating system to see whether it should be repaired or replaced. In some instances those services can be performed through HAC’s HEARTWAP (Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program).

The auditors also look at whether a home can benefit from insulation and air sealing which “seals up all the air pathways,” Smith said.

“If all air leaks are not sealed, it can be like having an open window in your house,” Bechtold explained. “Sealing all those cracks makes sure no warm, humid air escapes into the attic where it can create moisture issues.”

HAC’s weatherization measures can also include the installation of vents which allows an attic to properly breathe and helps to minimize issues with moisture that can lead to mold.

Both Smith and Bechtold agreed that the work HAC’s Energy Department does is not only important, but rewarding.

“We’re helping people save money, save energy and increase the overall comfort of the home, and in doing so we’re also staying true to what the agency’s values are,” Smith said. “We really enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction out of helping those who need our services the most.”

Schedule an Energy Assessment Today

You can schedule an energy assessment by calling Cape Light Compact at 800-797-6699. 

HAC Energy provides no cost energy assessments and weatherization measures to income-eligible homeowners and renters. If you receive fuel assistance or a discounted utility rate, or you are income-eligible for fuel assistance, you will receive these services through HAC. 

Tags: Energy Assessments, Cape Light Compact, HAC Energy, saving energy, Energy Audit, Weatherization, Ruth Bechtold, Suzanne Smith, Jim Ames, Joshua Trott, energy efficiency

HAC Free Energy Assessments

Posted by Laura Reckford on Thu, May 02, 2013 @ 04:22 PM

Enhanced Residential Program (60% of median income):

  • FREE high efficiency lighting
  • FREE refrigerator replacement (if existing model is inefficient)
  • FREE insulation, air sealing and other weatherization (up to $3,000 in value)
  • Potential heating system upgrade (if existing system is determined to be highly inefficient)

If you currently receive NSTAR’s  Discount Rate and/or household income below 60% of median income, you are eligible for a free home energy assessment, which may include the installation of conservation measures all at no cost. If you would like more information, please call Cape Light Compact at (800) 797-6699.

To determine your income level, please review the 2013 INCOME GUIDELINES.

Your income level and household size may qualify you for a variety of programs including:

  • Fuel assistance
  • Reduced utility rates
  • Free weatherization and energy efficiency services


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To apply for fuel assistance:
South Shore Community Action Council
Call (508) 778-0870, Hyannis office only during the winter months
Call (877) 383-5243, year round office in Plymouth

To inquire about electric discount rates:
Call NSTAR at (800) 566-2080

For help managing past due electric bills:
Call NSTAR at (866) 315-2496 and ask about their new Arrearage Forgiveness Program

To inquire about gas discount rates:
Call National Grid at (800) 532-9600

For more information about energy assistance programs available to Massachusetts residents:
Visit Citizens Energy

Tags: Energy Assessments, Cape Light Compact, housing assistance corporation, Housing on Cape Cod, saving energy, utility bills, Energy Audit