Greenfield Home Wins $8,000 Energy Incentive

Print Story | Email Story
GREENFIELD, Mass. — The Campbell-Gregory family in Greenfield is the first in the state to earn an $8,000 incentive for building a home that is 60 percent more efficient than a standard home.

A typical new construction home of the same size in Greenfield would have energy bills of about $400 per month, but the Campbell-Gregory residence is expected to cost less than $200.

The Massachusetts New Homes with Energy Starr program this year is offering a third tier of incentives to reward those homebuilders who build super-energy efficient new homes.

"It's exciting to see builders, homeowners and architects striving for such deep energy savings — the homeowners will enjoy the results for years to come — a more comfortable home that costs less to operate," said Megan McDonough from the Center for Ecological Technology. CET performed the required home energy rating (HERS) analysis and third-party inspections that led to the homeowners qualifying for the $8,000 Tier III incentive.

CET has been encouraging builders to make energy-efficient choices through the Energy Star homes program since it began in 2003. Most new-home builders use the program to identify incremental steps towards increased energy efficiency, but more project teams have been choosing to build super-insulated homes.

Scott Baum of Eco+Plan Architecture, the architect for the Campbell-Gregory residence, agrees that super-efficient building is a growing trend.

"People are taking a much more aggressive approach toward energy efficiency than in the past," he said. "When we look at our construction practices in the context of current times, it becomes apparent that the construction techniques of our recent past no longer make sense."

When asked if building to such a high-energy efficiency standard was harder than conventional building James Meehleder of Turn Key Builders Inc. said, "When building a super insulated house, you are still employing known building practices, just in a modified way. Some parts of the process are easier and some will take more time.  All in all, when you look at the whole project and the trade-offs that you make, the process doesn't differ much in scope of work or cost as a conventionally built home."

Project Highlights

► Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index of 60

► Passive Solar design allows for heat to warm the space through the south facing windows in the winter
► Solar hot-water system for domestic needs like showering and washing dishes
► Tight building envelope tested at 1.21 ACH50 with a blower door
► Whole-house ventilation provided by a Energy Recovery Ventilator
► Foot-deep walls filled with dense-packed cellulose to reach an R-40 insulation level
► High-efficiency (95 percent) propane boiler for home heating
► High efficiency Energy Star appliances
► More than 80 percent of the lighting fixtures use efficient compact fluorescent bulbs

The Center for Ecological Technology is a non-profit organization working in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste management and environmental education. CET provides practical solutions that make sense for our community, economy and environment.
0 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

Hoosac Valley Braces for Potential Budget Cuts to Close $480K Gap

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

The School Committee will see different budget presentations in March.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley Regional School District is bracing for a tough budget cycle and will work with Adams and Cheshire to make up budget gaps.
Superintendent Aaron Dean told the School Committee on Monday that he has already met with Adams officials to discuss the fiscal 2021 budget that in its early form is $480,000 short.
"The reality is that we have to close a gap of $480,000 at this time given the numbers on the cherry sheet and the normal increases in the budget," he said. "We will restructure and we will continue to do great things with kids we just have to find ways to consolidate and do things differently." 
Business Manager Erika Snyder said the conversation with Adams would have happened sooner but there was still some uncertainty around the cherry sheet that details the district's state revenues and debits. Dean added that he will soon meet with Cheshire officials to continue this discussion.
View Full Story

More State Stories