MassSave: You’re paying for it, but are you using it?

7% of Columbia Gas Customers have taken advantage of this program in the last four years

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On your electric and gas bill, you pay for the MassSave program. Columbia Gas has 240,000 residential customers and performed 17,860 home energy audits over the past four years. That’s 7 percent of its customers. If you don’t get an energy audit, you’re just giving your money away.

You’ve likely heard of the MassSave program, but did you know you’re paying for it. On your utility bills you will find a charge anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars depending on how much energy you use.

(If you use gas heat in your home, why would you have an energy assessment charge from both your gas company and your electric company?) “Well because when we do an energy assessment for a gas heating customer we are looking at electric usage in the home,” said Elizabeth Cellucci, Columbia Gas Director of Energy Efficiency. “She’s probably going to get some electric light bulbs today and her electric company is actually paying for those light bulbs.”

The 22News I-Team went to a West Springfield home for a home energy audit performed by Columbia Gas sub-contractors. The energy specialists go through your attic, basement and give out recommendations to save money in your home.

The estimate to add recommended insulation in a West Springfield home was around $2700, but the homeowner through the MassSave program only has to pay 25% or $500. The homeowner would pay herself back in less than two years.

MassSave doesn’t have an office or a staff, it is simply a brand that’s run by the state’s utility companies.

(Does Columbia Gas end up making money off this program?) “Well we can’t make money, we could roll it over into next year, but we can only spend this money on energy efficiency,” said Cellucci.

(Why would the gas company want to help people save money on their gas bill?) “We definitely sell gas and we want to sell gas, we’re also in the business of providing a safe comfortable warm home, and this will do it,” said Cellucci.

If you don’t do it, you’re still going pay for it every month.

To get a free home energy audit, you need to contact the utility company that provides your heat.  If you call now, it may take up to eight weeks to get an audit, if you call in the spring or summer, the wait time is much shorter.

If you are on fuel assistance or eligible for fuel assistance you may be able to get all the recommendations in your home energy audit completed for free.

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