Greenfield Home Wins $8,000 Energy Incentive

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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.
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Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Schedules 2020 Low Plate Lottery

BOSTON, Mass. — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced that the Registry of Motor Vehicles will hold the 2020 Low Plate Lottery drawing on Sept. 14, 2020.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles will hold the 2020 Low Plate Lottery drawing virtually beginning at 9:30 a.m. 
This year, nearly 12,000 low number plate lottery applications were received for 100 available, eligible plates, including 6P, 751, V35, K5, 2042 and T31. Lottery results, including the names of winners, will be posted on Mass.Gov/RMV by the close of business on Tuesday, Sept, 15, and customers selected for a low number plate will be directly notified via mail after the drawing takes place with instructions on how to register their new plate.
Entries for the 2020 lottery were required to be submitted online by Sept. 6, 2020, to be eligible for the drawing. While there was no cost to apply to the lottery, if an applicant is selected as a winner, there is a fee to receive the license plate and there is a standard registration fee.  Low number plates must be renewed every two years.
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