April 19, 2011

Conservation program aims to help homeowners, kids

The path to making America energy independent begins at home, officials said Tuesday.
During a visit Tuesday to the Bristol Boys and Girls Club, U.S. Rep. John Larson, an East Hartford Democrat whose 1st District includes Bristol, plugged a new partnership Tuesday between the club and Victory Energy Solutions of New Britain that aims to help homeowners conserve energy.
Larson called the partnership “a terrific idea” that can pay dividends for the children served by the club while helping wean the country off foreign oil.
The program allows homeowners to get an energy audit of their homes for $75, with two-thirds of the money going into the club’s coffers. During the audit, technicians will seal up drafty windows, install efficient light bulbs and more, officials said.
Mayor Art Ward said that he had Victory Energy come to his house and was happy to return from work one day to find a drafty window fixed, just one piece of the company’s work to save money for homeowners.
Michael Suchopar, the chief professional officer at the club, said this is probably the first partnership in the country between a boys club and an energy-saving group.
He said the alliance makes a lot of sense.
“We save money. We save energy. And we end up saving kids’ lives,” Suchopar said.
Ronald Araujo, who manages the conservation program for Northeast Utilities, said that for every dollar spent on conservation efforts, people get back about $4, one of the best deals around.
Raquel Kennedy, a Victory Energy representative, said the partnership offers a unique opportunity for her company, the club and homeowners.
The work done for homeowners is worth $800 or more, according to Victory, but is offered for $75 because the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund subsidizes it. It typically leads to savings of $400 or more annually, officials said.
To participate, contact Victory Energy at (877) 306-4483 or go online to www.victoryenergysolutions.com. Be sure to indicate that you want to benefit the club when you sign up. It is not necessary to live in Bristol to take advantage of the program.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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