The town of New Milford is buying into the advantages of clean energy.

In late spring, the New Milford Town Council authorized Mayor Pat Murphy to sign the Clean Energy Communities Pledge.

By becoming a Clean Energy Community, the town earns points toward the purchase of clean energy systems and Bright Idea grants of up to $20,000 per year to be used on energy-saving projects.

There is no direct cost to the town.

Points are earned when residents and businesses choose to participate in the state's energy efficiency fund programs.

One of the most common programs is a residential energy audit through the Home Energy Solutions (HES) program.

There is a one-time cost of $75 or $99 (based on heat source). An HES visit would include on the spot services such as sealing critical air leaks and drafts, and installing energy efficient lighting, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads.

To lead by example, Mayor Murphy and members of the New Milford Town Council have agreed to have an HES audit performed on their homes, at their cost.

Residents may join them in participating by calling 877-947-3873 or visiting www.energizect.com to schedule a Home Energy Solutions audit on their own homes for energy efficiency and potential energy cost savings.

Income-eligible residents may receive additional services such as free insulation and energy-efficient appliances.

New Milford seniors can contact the New Milford Senior Center directly at 860-355-6076 to use participating grant funds to cover the cost of their home's audit.