One of our own, Matt Mahoney, was recently awarded for making his home more energy efficient. Matt participated in a competition called the Home Energy Showcase, which was organized by the Pittsburgh-based non-profit Conservation Consultants, Inc. (CCI) to encourage Pittsburgh residents to take the steps to reduce their home energy use with energy efficiency measures.
“I’m honored!” said Matt Mahoney, Senior Project Developer for Plug Smart. “This experience helped me gain a whole new perspective on what it takes to reduce energy use.”
Matt signed up for CCI’s Home Energy Showcase in July 2019. During the competition, he worked with CCI to complete a home energy audit to identify steps to make his home more energy efficient.
First things first, they decided to start at the top of the house. During the attic inspection they found knob and tube wiring. Knob and tube wiring was the standard electrical wiring during the late 1880s and early 1900s, but can become a safety hazard as the wiring deteriorates. While they were up there, they learned that what the attic lacked in insulation, it made up for with coal dust – that’s one way to remember you live in the Steel City!
After the audit Matt developed an action plan to address larger projects, such as insulation and replacing the old knob and tube wiring, as well as DIY projects such as LED lighting, air sealing, and installing a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are valuable because they give the owner complete control over their HVAC system.
The DIY projects were quite the undertaking, but as an energy-enthusiast it was more than worth it for Matt. “I want to walk the walk, and be able to back up my conversations with folks in the community with my own real-life experience” he said. “This project has taught me about the full spectrum of considerations for implementing energy efficiency projects, from financing to timing around the seasons, and the technical aspects of energy improvements.”
For two years, Matt’s day job was advocating for stronger energy efficiency policies throughout Pennsylvania with the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, Pennsylvania’s trade association for the energy efficiency industry. Now, at Plug Smart, Matt works to implement energy efficient projects that save large-scale energy users money on their energy costs, putting the knowledge he gained from the Home Energy Showcase to work on a daily basis!