“With so many people turning their homes into offices, schools or anything else they need during the pandemic, reducing energy use and saving money through energy efficiency is more important than ever,” said Eversource Vice President of Energy Efficiency Tilak Subrahmanian. “So, it is critical that we – and our customers – have full confidence that the health and safety guidelines our contractors follow will, in fact, protect against the spread of COVID-19. We didn’t want to just pull something off the shelf that was generic or designed with other work in mind, and bringing these various stakeholders and experts together helped ensure that we had industry-specific guidance in which we could all have confidence.”
In partnership with utilities across New England, Eversource worked with Environmental Health & Engineering, a health and safety consulting firm, as well as energy efficiency contractors and community organizations to develop the comprehensive health and safety guidelines. The guidelines include personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing and sanitizing requirements in line with the latest recommendations for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and take into account the specific scenarios contractors may find themselves in during the course of installing energy efficiency upgrades in customer homes or businesses.
Eversource temporarily suspended in-home and on-premise energy efficiency services at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the safety of customers and contractors. The enhanced health and safety guidelines allowed energy efficiency services to resume safely at the beginning of the summer, putting contractors back to work in the field, helping customers save more money on their energy costs, and keeping the region on track to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals. The guidelines were adopted by utilities and energy efficiency program administrators across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, providing consistency for contractors that work throughout the region.
“NECEC started the Back to Work Challenge to showcase the innovative work undertaken by clean energy companies to adapt to challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “We are excited to announce Eversource as one of our awardees and to highlight the company’s efforts to develop best practices that will keep business moving throughout the pandemic.”
The Northeast Clean Energy Council, a business association of clean energy stakeholders dedicated to growing the region’s clean energy economy, created the Clean Energy Back to Work Challenge to highlight innovative projects from clean energy organizations that successfully adapted their business practices amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The winning projects were selected by a panel of representatives from NECEC’s member organizations and announced during a virtual award ceremony held on Thursday, November 12.