Often, the one thing that makes an otherwise affordable home unaffordable is the cost of energy. In addition to wasting energy, an energy-inefficient home wastes money.
Weatherizing your home results in increased comfort throughout the year, especially during the hot summer and cold winter months. You'll also benefit by saving money on your utility bills.
Through its Energy Department, HAC offers a number of services that help low-income homeowners and tenants on Cape Cod save energy and money.
Free Energy Assessments
Our state-certified auditors will visit your home, conduct an energy assessment and identify ways for you to reduce your energy usage and save money on your utility bills. To request an energy assessment:
Barnstable & Dukes County residents call Cape Light Compact at 800-797-6699.
Wareham oil, electric and propane customers call HAC at 508-771-5400 ext 123.
Wareham gas customer call South Shore Community Action Council in Plymouth
508-747-7575 extension 6253 .
HAC Energy Helps Cape Codders
In 2017, HAC’s energy team:
- Conducted energy audits on 586 single-family homes to reduce electrical use.
- Installed energy- and money-saving weatherization measures in 547 single-family homes.
- Weatherized and/or installed energy-saving measures to 407 rental units.
- Repaired, replaced or cleaned and tuned 494 heating systems.
- Replaced 26 oil tanks and upgraded 17 oil lines for compliance with safety and environmental codes.
- Replaced 310 old, inefficient refrigerators and 31 freezers with new Energy Star models.
- Installed 16,581 new, energy efficient light bulbs in single-family homes.
About Energy Assessments
Installing weatherization measures is the first step everyone should take to make their homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. These measures consist of air sealing open penetrations, blowing in insulation into attics and walls, and weather stripping doors. HAC’s certified auditors inspect your home to determine what weatherization measures should be installed and then contract the work to one of our experienced licensed and insured contractors. All work is overseen by our auditors and our work is inspected by state and utility-funded Program Administrators. Work is free if you receive fuel assistance or if your household income falls under 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
HAC’s auditor will come to your home to test your electric appliances and determine if they qualify for new energy efficient upgrades. If eligible, your refrigerator; freezer; window air conditioner; dehumidifiers; and washing machines may be replaced, free of charge. You will also receive energy-saving light bulbs; a kit with other energy-saving devices; and educational materials with pertinent information on the health and safety of your home. Our trained auditors will leave you with a list of actions you can take to decrease your electricity usage.
The Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program (HEARTWAP) provides heating system services to low-income homeowners on Cape Cod, the Islands, and Wareham. The program is designed primarily to serve homeowners. Landlords are required to maintain the heating system for their tenants under the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code.
- Services for fuel assistance-certified clients may include: Emergency heating system repairs; Heating system replacements; Burner replacements; Oil tank replacements; limited asbestos removal; Clean and tune program (when funding is available)
Throughout the heating season (November 1-April 30), HEARTWAP is primarily an emergency-based heating system repair program that helps eligible homeowners pay to repair or replace defective or unsafe heating systems.
If you experience a no-heat unsafe heating system situation, call 508-771-5400, ext. 106 to speak to the Program Coordinator who will contract with licensed and insured heating repair technicians to attempt to fix the problem.
If sufficient funds are available after the heating season, HEARTWAP will complete maintenance work (clean and tunes) and replace heating systems that are in poor condition and not worth repairing. There are maximum allowable expenditure limits for different types of heating system activities. HAC attempts to utilize all available utility funds for system replacements in an effort to minimize the need for client contributions.
How to Apply For Fuel Assistance (SSCAC)
Eligibility for HEARTWAP services is based on eligibility for the current year's LIHEAP (Fuel Assistance Program). Interested households should contact South Shore Community Action Council in Plymouth at 508-746-6707 for application information. From November 1 through April 30, the Cape Cod office in Hyannis is also available for application assistance; call 508-778-0870 for more information. In addition, all senior centers in our region offer help with applications foe Fuel Assistance.
Households will be required to verify their income; household characteristics; address; and homeownership.
Weatherization Program (Single Family)
Installing weatherization measures is the first step everyone should take to make their homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. These measures consist of air sealing open penetrations; blowing in insulation into attics and walls; weather stripping window doors; and more.
HAC’s state certified auditors inspect your home to determine what weatherization measures should be installed and then contract the work to one of our experienced licensed and insured contractors. All work is overseen by our auditors and our work is inspected by state and utility program administrators. Work is free if you receive Fuel Assistance or if the household income falls under 60% of the AMI. Households who qualify for a discounted utility rate are also eligible for this program.
Funding for these programs come from the Department of Energy through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, Cape Light Compact, National Grid and Eversource.
For more information, contact Suzanne at 508-771-5400, ext. 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weatherization Program (Multi-Family)
HAC works with local public housing authorities and owners of affordable multi-family housing units to ensure that these buildings receive comprehensive energy audits. This includes the replacement of light bulbs, electrical fixtures, and possibly appliances, if deemed eligible, with energy-efficient ones.
A multi-family property is considered low-income if there are at least 5 units in residential buildings, and if at least 50% of the residents/households have incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
For electric-, oil- or propane-heated properties, we can also assess the weatherization needs and hire our experienced licensed and insured contractors to insulate these properties. This program helps residents maintain a high level of comfort and lower utility costs. Funding is supplied by the Cape Light Compact.
For gas-heated properties, HAC staff will perform the electrical assessment. The property manager will then be referred to the Low-Income Multi-Family programs for the weatherization assessment.
For more information about our Multi-Family Weatherization Program, contact Ruth at 508-771-5400, ext. 102, or at email@example.com.