First Selectman Tim Herbst is making good on his promise to cut energy costs, and hopes others will follow in his footsteps.
The process took place at Herbst's home on Fairview Avenue recently, starting with United Illuminated Holdings and HE-Energy Solutions installing a fan to suck air from the home. The incoming air rushed back in from all nooks and crannies of the home that weren't properly sealed.
"The first selectman signed up. Our objective here is to get the town on board with this program," said Vivian Gutman Perez of HE-Energy.
When the leaks were found, HE-Energy attached blue painters tape to the areas leaking air. And there were many, from behind the refrigerator to the fireplace and the attic of Herbst's 1966 split-level home.
HE-Energy workers were going to seal all the cracks, replace inefficient bulbs and install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. The program also offers rebates for bigger jobs such as windows and new, energy efficient appliances.
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Each assessment lasts about three to four hours.
Herbst said he sunk $75,000 into the home, from windows to floors. He and his family cleaned out the house and gutted several rooms after he bought it November 2010. The renovations took four months, according to the first selectman.
Herbst also recently signed a pledge to make town buildings energy efficient over the next several years.
The firm and UIL have already performed similar jobs in Bridgeport homes, many of which are energy-inefficient balloon-frame construction. They say have served 10,000 customers and typically save homeowners 10 to 15 percent.
Herbst said he saved 12 percent.
The program is partly funded by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. To arrange for a test, go to the Website or call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873).