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recommend them to determine how the envelope can be improved before we move forward in creating a high- efficiency energy system. Changes that can improve energy-efficiency include better insulation, new windows and doors and blown in insulation, all of which are relatively inexpensive and help to reduce heat loss. Reducing the building’s electrical load through more energy-efficient appliances and lighting is another step.

What kinds of clients are you serving? We have large-hotel clients, private homes and commercial buildings, and we’re working with developers and contractors who plan to adopt more renewable solutions. One example is a community geothermal loop we’re helping to install in Provincetown. The project includes nine homes on a single geothermal loop. Each home will be heated and cooled from the stored energy beneath the Earth’s surface. We’re also installing 26 large-scale geothermal units at Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod. Are more people embracing renewable energy despite the upfront costs? The commercial industry is willing to adopt these new technologies sooner than the residential because it’s often more compelling. Renewable energy offers predictable costs that are lower and less volatile, especially geothermal. But if these investments weren’t being subsidized or incentivized by the government, there would be a much slower rate of adoption. These technologies and methods of retrofitting the buildings can be expensive, but the costs are tempered by government subsidies. As a result of these incentives, tax credits and utility rebates, the rate of return on your investment is much faster, and typically it’s within five years. In my home, we installed a combination of high-efficiency gas and solar thermal and it’s reduced our heating costs by nearly 50 percent. Not only is this saving us money, it’s improving the value of our home.

New England Renewable Energy Systems serves clients in Boston, Cape Cod, Metro West and the South Shore. For more information, call 855-637-3639 or visit See ad on page 2.

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