Energy challenge deadline nears

Energy challenge deadline nears

CUMBERLAND – Fewer than 50 homeowners still need to take advantage of free energy assessments in order for the town to meet a goal of nearly 400 assessments by a Dec. 31 deadline. If the town meets that goal from the Rhode Island Energy Challenge, it will win a $10,000 grant for local energy upgrades.

Town Councilor Tom Kane, in a letter to the editor in this week’s Valley Breeze, is promoting the challenge as a way for residents to learn where they’re losing money on energy and how they can recapture some of those dollars.

Kane said he had a home energy assessment done and was impressed by the recommendations. In addition to suggestions on upgrades, his family was given no-cost efficiency products, including state-of-the-art light bulbs and “smart” power strips to lower energy costs further.

The initiative to “reduce your use” is designed to motivate communities to reduce energy consumption and become “Rhode Island Energy Champions.” With electricity costs rising, the effort becomes even more important to saving residents money, say town officials.

The town was lagging in the challenge for a while, but the effort has picked up steam.

Organizers of the statewide Rhode Island Energy Challenge through National Grid had a goal this year of increasing the overall number of energy assessments, and officials say many communities are doing very well in the effort. Experts estimate savings of between 20 and 30 percent in energy costs if residents implement the suggestions and upgrades recommended during a home assessment.

To sign up for a home energy assessment, visit before Dec. 31. Email questions or comments to or