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

HAC Selects Al DiMuzio to Helm Energy and Repair Department

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 @ 12:45 PM
Al DiMuzio Edited.jpgAl DiMuzio, the new director of HAC's Energy and Repair Department. 

Imagine living in a home without any electricity or running water. For HAC’s Al DiMuzio, he didn’t have to imagine it. He actually experienced it, roughly 35 years ago.

“When I first moved to Maine and bought a property, I lived off the grid to understand how those things can be extras,” he said. “I had a well for water, candles and gaslights for lights and used a hand pump for the shower. I called it voluntarily simplicity. I had heard the term used and I liked it a lot. It was really a simpler life, not necessarily an easier one.”

While he eventually returned to the comforts we all enjoy, those early experiences in Maine have colored his work at HAC where he has served as an auditor for single-family and multi-family homes in the agency’s Energy and Repair Department for nearly seven years. “Within the context of this department, we have a lot of grateful clients and there’s a satisfaction in helping them not only reduce their energy costs, but making Cape Cod’s carbon footprint a little smaller since they’re saving a tremendous amount of electricity and saving gas and oil with the insulation we do,” he said.

In December, DiMuzio was given the opportunity to enact even greater change when he was named the interim director of the department. He will replace longtime staffer Nancy Davison who is retiring this year.

DiMuzio arrived at HAC in 2010 with four decades’ worth of experience in the construction industry that began on Nantucket in the early 70s following a stint in the U.S. Army. “From there I went to Maine and did all sorts of construction work including residential, commercial, federal jobs, sewer installations, foundations and framing, the whole nine yards,” he said.

DiMuzio, who grew up in Framingham, returned to Massachusetts in 1998 to be closer to family. He spent the majority of the next 11 years employed as a finish carpenter with E.J. Jaxtimer Builder before the economy collapsed in 2009. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Department of Veterans Affairs, DiMuzio was certified as a building analyst by the Building Professionals Institute, authorizing him to conduct energy audits. “Within six weeks the job was advertised here [at HAC] and I was interviewed and lucky enough to get it,” DiMuzio said.

While his initial focus was on single-family homes, the bulk of his work has been on auditing and weatherizing multi-family homes owned by local public housing authorities and landlords of affordable units.

Davison credited DiMuzio for overseeing HAC’s multi-family weatherization program. “When we went through a restructuring three years ago to separate out our multi-family work from single-family, Al was the first one who said, ‘Yes, I want to do it,’” Davison said. “That is the type of motivation he has. If anything comes up that’s a new function or responsibility, he is always the one who volunteers to do it.”

Beyond his resolute nature, Davison said, “he is extremely talented and passionate about helping people.”

In his new position, DiMuzio will continue being able to do just that. “I’m really excited to be able to step into this position and kind of drive the bus and see where we get,” he said.

To learn more about HAC's free energy audits or to schedule one for your home, call Cape Light Compact at 800-797-6699 or click the button below. 

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Tags: HAC Energy, Weatherization, Energy Audit, Energy Assessments, Al DiMuzio, saving energy

Home Repair Funds Available From HAC

Posted by Laura Reckford on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 @ 06:06 PM

Town of Barnstable Homeowners

Have you been delaying needed home repairs?

Don't know where to turn for funds?

Housing Assistance Corporation is accepting applications for the Home Owner Repair Program.

The program will help you make health and safety repairs such as heating systems, roofs, septic, mold, electric, carpentry, etc. 

Income eligible guidelines apply:

Maximum income for a household of 1: $45,100

Maximum income for a household of 2: $51,550

Maximum income for a household of 3: $58,000

Maximum income for a household of 4 : $64,400

Contact Brenda Rocklage at 508-771-5400 ext. 285 or brocklage@haconcapecod.org for more program details and application information.


Tags: saving money, saving energy, Weatherization

HAC’s Energy Team Completes Federal Contract

Posted by Julie Wake on Sat, Sep 15, 2012 @ 12:20 AM

HAC recently completed three years of federal funding for the energy and repair department’s weatherization program. HAC received $2.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds (AARA). “The goal was to weatherize 405 homes and we did 602,” said Nancy Davison, HAC vice president of program operations. “We were very, very productive.”
energy audit 001 resized 600
“Our skill level is among the best in the state,” said Shad Williams, energy and repair director. “To take on such a huge increase and be able to do the job they did is a testament to our staff’s talent.”

At the same time of the ARRA program, utilities tripled their support of weatherization. “It pushed HAC’s visibility to a higher level as our energy programs became more impactful in the region,” said Davison.

The increased funding from utilities via Cape Light Compact will allow HAC to continue its weatherization efforts post-ARRA. “When you think of the impact this has had on people’s lives, it’s significant,” said Davison. “The majority of the folks we helped are older and alone and don’t have a lot of support. Now their comfort level is improved and they’re not dreading the winter because they know their utility bills will be lower.”

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Contact HAC for a free energy assessment today!

Tags: Energy Assessments, saving energy, utility bills, Energy Audit, Weatherization

Housing Assistance Corporation's Energy Dept. Welcomes New Leadership

Posted by Julie Wake on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 @ 09:35 PM

HAC’s Energy & Repair Department is under new management with the recent arrival of Shad Williams, energy & repair director, and Jim Peck, technical supervisor.

Williams has been interested in energy conservation for the last 30 years and most recently worked with the U.S. Department of Energy in Ohio to bring energy procurement contracts to lower-income, multi-family property owners. “The savings that can be generated are often sufficient to pay for the improvements and still provide a rate of return,” he said.
Jim Peck and Shad Williams
Williams says he was excited when he learned about the opportunity to work at HAC. “I said, wow, I found someone who wants to do this on Cape Cod. I love the sense of community people have here. I feel like I’m no longer swimming upstream.”

He’s looking forward to working with HAC staff and describes as talented and innovative. “I see a lot of great opportunities to build on the legacy of HAC and to find ways to sustain that legacy,” Williams said.

Peck has been involved with energy programs in Maine, New Hampshire and on the North Shore of Massachusetts. At HAC he will assist Williams and provide technical assistance and training to HAC’s energy auditing staff. He came to HAC because “I was singularly taken with the team’s camaraderie and jovial atmosphere while working on providing assistance to others.”
Like Williams, Peck moved to Cape Cod to work for HAC. His family has been in the restaurant business on the coast of Maine for over 100 years. “Restaurants are one of the high-energy users per square foot,” he said. “There are always opportunities to save money.”

Marketing will be part of Peck’s focus. “We need to continually let people know there are opportunities for energy savings,” he said. “I’ve never met a homeowner or business owner where I couldn’t save them 25 percent. Any time you can save money, help the environment and protect our national security, that’s a win-win-win situation in my book.”

You may qualify for a free energy assessment, contact HAC today to see!

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Tags: Energy Assessments, housing assistance corporation, Weatherization