Bright Ideas Blog
While many of us were preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, one Next Step Living employee was busy trekking to the top of the world – literally.
Alex Quillopo, Director of Payroll since 2012, endured a grueling twelve-day trek to Mount Everest’s basecamp.
Thanksgiving is a time for family, food and reflecting on the good energy over the past year. It can also be a hectic time where we might be too distracted to think about things like energy use in the home. Remember, good energy practices don’t take the holidays off, so this Thanksgiving we're asking homeowners to take some small steps to cut energy use during the holiday weekend. Not only will you save on energy costs, but you'll also be more comfortable while celebrating with family and friends.
As the weather turns colder and the days grow shorter, it’s the time of year when we all spend more time at home. It’s also the time when we spend more on energy, and this year, it will probably cost us even more. A recent article in the Boston Globe reported that electric bills will be going up this winter for many Massachusetts residents because of increased demand for natural gas and limited capacity of pipelines in the region.
From a handful of employees with a big idea to almost 750 employees with big accomplishments and even greater plans, Next Step Living has come a long way since Nov. 17, 2008. That’s the day when our first employees converged on the home of one Brian Graber to perform our company’s first home energy evaluation. Here are stories of those early days, as told by four of the folks who knocked on Brian’s door.
Harnessing the sun’s energy for home use is a very attractive idea: You can drastically cut your electricity use, slash your electric bill and take a big chunk out of your carbon footprint. But having solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on your roof is not for everyone, and many rooftops on New England homes simply aren’t right for a large solar power system.
But, there is another option: Install a much smaller system for a more limited use.
I started working at Next Step Living about a year ago. Before then, I didn’t know much about energy efficiency. If I remembered, I would turn off the lights in my house before heading to work or adjust the thermostat setting, but other than that I didn’t really do much.
Over the past year, I’ve learned about the many ways to save energy and thought I’d share five of them that may be new to you. The best part? They won’t cost you much or anything at all:
Helping the most people possible save on home energy use while they shrink their carbon footprints: It sounds like an altruistic pursuit worthy of the efforts of fine nonprofit organizations. And, in some ways, it is.
So you might wonder: Is a for-profit enterprise like Next Step Living really the best possible driving force behind a broad-based campaign to boost residential energy efficiency? We think it is, and I’ll tell you why.
Solar panels installed today will last a long time, 35 years or more. So, when you're installing a solar power system, make sure your roof will last as long as the panels. Removing and replacing those panels to re-roof can be a considerable expense and can be avoided. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan (typically 15 to 20 years), think about installing a sustainable product like a metal roof whose warranty length at least matches that of your solar system.
A home energy evaluation is the gateway to savings, free products and access to generous state and utility program rebates and incentives. A no-cost or low-cost evaluation conducted by Next Step Living with partners like Mass Save® or Energize Connecticut keeps things as simple as possible. The findings will show you how your house uses (and wastes) energy, what measures you can take to save dollars as well as watts, therms and globe-warming carbon emissions.