Residents will soon be able to see just how much heat is going out their windows, doors, walls, roof, etc. – literally.
On Tuesday night, selectmen approved a request from the Medfield Energy Committee and Medfield Green to allow Sagewell, Inc. to take digital thermal photographs of all homes in Medfield in late January to determine the energy efficiency of their property.
“I’ve been in the business for almost 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Davis, noting the program is also being tested in other parts of the country.
Representatives from Sagewell – which is based in Woburn and has piloted this program in Arlington, Lexington and Hamilton – will drive around Medfield taking infrared photos of houses (the portion that faces the street) and will then upload them to the Sagewell site where residents can privately log on to see where their home might be losing heat.
The company does not guarantee they will capture all houses, especially if they are not visible from the road but Davis said Sagewell typically gets “a very, very high percentage of houses.” Sagewell will not traverse private roads unless asked to do so. Residents can contact Sagewell to make sure they are included in the project and they can also opt out.
Davis said a public informational meeting will be held with Sagewell during the second week of January.
“This is such a good opportunity,” said Board of Selectmen chairman Osler Peterson.
Said selectman Ann Thompson: “I think it’s a win-win; I don’t think we have anything to lose.”
The program matches homeowners with contractors who can improve the energy efficiency of a building.
There is no cost for the service, Davis explained. Sagewell makes its money when a homeowner visits its website and asks for more information. Energy efficiency contractors interested in performing remedial work will pay a finder’s fee to Sagewell.
Timely detection of energy losses will also enable homeowners to take advantage of current tax credits for home energy improvements.
Peterson thanked the Energy Committee for bringing forth this latest program, and noted the committee has worked to improve energy efficiency in town buildings by 20 percent, including a $180,000 savings in the school “equally to three teachers’ salaries,” he said.
“The energy committee has been a huge success,” said Peterson.