Energy Upgrade Work Parties

Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET)


Since August 2008, HEET has been organizing free energy-upgrade work-parties to teach volunteers hands-on skills in energy efficiency. These work-parties take place in the buildings of non-profits such as food pantries, churches and community centers. The resulting work saves the non-profits money on their energy bills allowing them to supply more needed community services.

Before each event, HEET’s skilled auditors thoroughly evaluate the building where the work-party will take place. The evaluators assess the thermal envelope, HVAC, lighting, major electrical appliances and overall energy bills. They conduct a blower door test, perform combustion analysis and use a “Kill-a-Watt” meter to decide where and how to do the work most effectively.

During the work-party, HEET’s team leaders teach the volunteers how to air-seal air infiltration points, as well as how to install electricity- and water-efficiency measures. HEET keeps the average ratio of team leaders to volunteers at one to four to make sure the team leader can give high-quality instruction as well as oversee the work. After the work is done, team leaders and volunteers celebrate over food and refreshments. The labor is provided for free by the HEET volunteers and team leaders. The non-profit that is host to the work-party pays for the materials and the food.

The volunteers gain hands-on skills that they can use in their own homes, creating a powerful multiplier effect.


  • Institution Name: Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET)
  • Address: 21 Acorn Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
  • Website: