How It Works
At Next Step LivingTM, we’re out to change the world, one home at a time. We study how your home operates and then come up with a plan to reduce your energy consumption. You’ll be more comfortable, your utility bills will go down, and your home will rise in value. But more importantly, you will help your community cut back on fuel. Since 2008, we’ve helped tune over 38,000 homes for efficiency and sustainability.
You can begin an assessment here. Our Home Energy Advisors and Installation Technicians will perform a comprehensive analysis of your home, help you determine the most effective plan and guide you through the incentive programs available in your area. In many areas, you’re already contributing to a fund to upgrade homes through a mandatory monthly fee.
Here’s how our process works.
1. We perform an in-home assessment.
A rattling engine noise will prompt you to take the car to a mechanic. But what happens when your house isn’t working right? If your utility bills are higher than your neighbors, do you know why? Why are some rooms always more comfortable than others?
We spend three to four hours to analyze the secret life of your home. We look for sources of drafts, check out the duct work, and assess the health of the furnace, hot water system and other systems. The information we collect goes into a detailed report that will pinpoint where you’re losing heat and energy. Many energy-saving steps, like changing light bulbs and sealing doors, can be accomplished on the day we analyze your home. These instant savings measures are free, but they can reduce your utility bill by 5 percent.
2. We put together a customized plan
We prepare a customized action plan that outlines the different options for upgrading your home based on our analysis. We’ll go over quick fixes you can do on your own as well as options that will pay more substantial dividends. Some of the opportunities you might be able to take advantage of include:
- Air sealing
- New windows
- Replacing heaters and air conditioners with total climate control systems.
- Converting from heating oil to natural gas.
- Solar PV systems
3. We will help you decipher the available rebates and incentives.
In many instances, a substantial portion of the expenses will be covered by efficiency incentive programs sponsored by your local utility or a government agency. We will walk you through these and well as the different financing options. In many cases, you have contributed to these programs through a surcharge on your monthly bill; you might as well take advantage of them.
The Mass Save Home Energy Services Program, for instance, will pay the full price for a home audit and instant savings measures as well as 75 percent of the cost of eligilble insulation work up to $2,000. Massachusetts residents can also quality for a 7-year, $25,000 zero-interest loan. In Connecticut, air sealing is 100% paid for with rebates. In many states, solar systems can be installed on homes with no upfront payments: homeowners see savings from day one.
4. Once we’ve put together a plan with you, we go to work.
We know the fear and hesitation many have when it comes to construction projects. Our Home Energy Advisors and field crews do more than 1,600 assessments a month and know how to best serve you. They are also in continual communication with each other to ensure quality control, attention to detail and steady progress.
We want to emphasize one more thing: we’re clean. We know you live in your home and the last thing you want is to be disturbed. You’ve invited us, and as good guests we’re going to be as polite and unobtrusive as possible. Call it another part of the mission.
5. We connect with you regularly and make sure you are satisfied with our work.
What’s good for you, after all, is good for us. A large proportion of our work comes from references from family and friends. Over 85% of our customers who’ve asked us to assess their homes have said they would recommend us. 87% of our customers who’ve asked us to perform work on their homes have said they would recommend us. We are invested in your satisfaction.