Weatherization Program Brings HEAT to Thetford Homes

Thetford Home Energy Action Team Initiative

Volunteers in Thetford go over the game plan before heading out on their door-to-door effort

The Sustainable Energy Resource Group (SERG) and the Thetford Energy Committee teamed up in 2011 to form the Thetford Home Energy Action Team (HEAT) in order to test the implementation of Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) techniques for weatherization initiatives.

CBSM is premised around the idea, established through research done in social psychology, that in order to be effective programs must be carried out at the community scale and involve direct contact with residents of a community.  It goes beyond merely educating a community, but identifying barriers, helping residents overcome those barriers, and documenting the results to determine certain strategies effectiveness.  For a thorough introduction to CBSM read this guide.

As part of the effort, HEAT recruited and trained 50 volunteers, who then went out and canvassed 650 homes door-to-door in Thetford —60% of the total homes in the town!  The volunteers helped educate fellow residents on programs available to them, provided energy saving tips, swapped out incandescent bulbs with CFLs, and conducted energy assessments to give homeowners a better idea of their energy use and weatherization needs.

The door-to-door initiative was able to collect energy surveys for 240 homes altogether, and of those who have committed to work already, average annual cost savings are projected to be $914 per participant.  This effort was one piece of an overall program that also included a Home Energy Expo and Do-It-Yourself workshop.  You can read more about the program and its initial results by downloading the report on the right.

Contact Bob Walker at  802-785-4126 or at SERG@valley.net for more information on this promising approach.

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