By: Gail Montany

June 30, 2014

Energize South Windsor, an initiative approved by the Town Council a month ago to promote energy conservation to residents and local businesses, will officially launch Tuesday.

Energize South Windsor has scheduled a number of “lighting fairs” and community presentations throughout the summer and beyond. The program is designed to teach residents about saving energy and money and making their homes more comfortable year round.

The Town Council last month voted 8-1 to move forward with the creation of an Energy Committee after hearing a presentation by Diana McCarthy-Bercury of Connecticut Light & Power Co. and Yankee Gas.

Under the Clean Energy Communities program, officials pledged to reduce energy consumption in municipal buildings by 2018, obtain 20 percent of municipal electricity from renewable sources, and take other steps to support the use of clean energy, which includes solar and wind power, biomass, hydropower, and biofuels.

So far, about 100 towns in Connecticut have signed the clean energy pledge.

If the residential participation level is high enough, South Windsor could earn a $10,000 grant to be used toward an energy-saving project of its choice, according to Energize Connecticut’s home page.

Democratic Councilman Stephen Wagner, who serves on the Energy Committee, said home energy audits cost $99 and take four to six hours.

A special incentive for South Windsor residents, he said, offers about $1,000 in gifts and services, including light bulbs, testing, weather stripping, and crack sealing, but are due to expire at the end of November.

Lighting “fairs,” during which residents can buy energy-saving light bulbs will be held at Evergreen Walk on July 19, Aug. 23, and Sept. 20 and at the farmers market on Aug. 9.

The Charles Enes Community Center on Nevers Road will host presentations for residents to learn about reducing their utility bills and identifying financial incentives, from 7 to 8 p.m. on July 16, Aug. 13, and Sept. 17. A special presentation for older residents, designed for people on fixed incomes, will be held at the community center at 11 a.m. Aug. 27.

Energize South Windsor also will have a table at the farmers market on July 5 and 19, Aug. 23, Sept. 6, and Oct. 4 and 18, and at all the Evergreen Walk Summer Concert Series events.

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church will host a coffee hour to promote the program from 10 to 11 a.m. July 20.