60% of our community's carbon footprint comes from our energy, waste and water at home.
The good news is that small changes can make a big difference! And, there's a lot that you can do that is easy and will save you money.
Here are some ideas for how to get started making your home more sustainable.
Saving energy saves you money. There are a lot of ways to improve your home's energy efficiency, decrease your utility bills, improve your comfort, and help create a more sustainable Concord.
- Start by getting a free home energy assessment to identify the sources of wasted energy driving up your heating and electricity bills.
- If you heat with natural gas, you can take advantage of free home energy assessments, free LEDs, and rebates for weatherization and other energy efficiency improvements through MassSave.
- If you heat with any fuel other than natural gas, CMLP's energy auditor, Energy New England, will evaluate your home's heating system, lighting, and weatherization needs for free. They will also replace your incandescent bulbs with LEDs!
- After a home energy assessment, weatherizing your home is often the best step toward reducing your energy use. Installing or replacing insulation and/or air sealing windows and doors can provide significant energy savings and improve the comfort of your home. For homes heated with natural gas, MassSave provides incentives and advice on weatherizing your home. For homes heated with oil or electricity, CMLP and the Town offer rebates for weatherization projects.
- If you do not need a home energy assessment, you can still get free LEDs installed in your home. Call Energy New England at (888) 772-4242 to schedule an LED Makeover. An LED installer will come to your home and replace all of your incandescent bulbs with LEDs. You must be at home throughout the installation, which usually takes an hour and a half.
- Air-source and ground-source heat pumps are a clean alternative to heating with gas or oil and can greatly reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, reduce your energy costs, and improve the comfort of your home. Heat pump installations are also eligible for rebates from Concord Municipal Light Plant.
- Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWHs) - also called Hybrid Water Heaters - are powered by electricity, but are much more efficient than previous electric water heaters and can save you energy and money. New heat pump water heaters may be eligible for a rebate from CMLP.
- Over 300 homes in Concord have solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their rooftops. Solar PV can provide local generation of clean energy and save you money. Interested in going solar? Check out the steps for installing solar in Concord from CMLP and learn more about the decision to lease or own your system. CMLP can also connect you with a local "solar coach" to guide you through the process.
Saving water is easy, can save you money, and makes a big difference. Approximately 70% of residential water use in Concord is used inside the home and the other 30% is used outside the home, mainly on watering lawns. What can you do to help?
- Follow all water conservation advisories and restrictions from Concord Public Works.
- Stop by the Water & Sewer office for free water conservation devices to use in your home.
- Residents can also sign up for a free Water Conservation Consultation. An expert will visit your home to check for leaks, show you how to read your water meter, and identify areas where you can save water. For more information, click here.
- Apply for water savings rebates when you replace your washing machine or toilet with high efficiency options.
- Improve your "Irrigation IQ" with smart tips about efficiently managing your outdoor water use.
- Update your landscaping with water-smart designs that can save you money on water and maintenance. Check out water-smart landscape templates to get started.
Just remember the "3R's" when it comes to waste - reduce, reuse, and recycle!
- Sign up for Concord's Pay-As-You-Throw curbside program. This includes trash and recycling. For tips about what you can and can't recycle, check out CPW's recycling guide.
- Drop-off your yard waste for recycling at the Composting Site on Walden Street from April through December. CPW also offers Christmas tree recycling there in January.
- You can also compost your yard waste and food scraps in your backyard. CPW offers discounted backyard compost bins.
- Working on a painting project? Check out the Paint Shed located at the Composting Site for free paint. You can also drop-off used paint that you no longer need.
- Many materials like some paints, light bulbs, batteries, oils and items containing mercury are hazardous and should not be disposed of in curbside collection. CPW provides drop-off locations for many of these hazardous materials or can help you figure out the best way to safely dispose of these items.
- Have other unwanted items not collected at the curb? Bring them to one of two annual DropOff SwapOff days organized by CPW and ReUsIt - May and October. Or check out this guide for how to recycle or dispose of almost anything!