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Dennis DeGrazia has been a vital force within the weatherization industry for many years and has provided low-income Massachusetts residents the opportunity to save money on their energy bills through making their homes more energy efficient.
For many years Dennis DeGrazia has worked as a contractor, real estate developer and a project director. Through each position, Dennis has been able to incorporate his passion of energy efficiency. He currently holds a position at Construction Energy Services (CES) as Director of Operations. In this capacity he oversees and manages all of the day-to-day operations of the company. One of his most important duties is supervising the relationships between CES and the directors of energy at the various agencies the company serves.
These relationships are critical because they allow Dennis to be more effective at managing the projects. His main goal is to make lower energy costs available for large, low-income multi-family properties. By performing a “Cost-Benefit Analysis” Dennis is able to better determine if lower energy is possible and what materials and services are required to deliver it.
As a kind of project manager of the initiative, Dennis DeGrazia works closely with Energy Star and the Action for Boston Community Development. This partnership is committed to helping property owners reduce their energy footprint and subsequently their energy costs.
Dennis is very passionate about offering energy retrofits for low-income families. It is not only this passion but also his vast knowledge that has made Dennis an authority in energy efficiency. Fusing his technical skills with his ability to maintain strong relationships has allowed him to positively impact the lives of many low-income families. Through this work Dennis is saving families money while also creating a more comfortable atmosphere within their homes.
Based in Massachusetts, Dennis DeGrazia has made a career in all types of construction, from new school construction to home remodeling projects. He has held positions as a contractor, real estate developer and project director giving him a wide range of experience and insight. Home construction and remodeling has been a vital part of the nation’s economy and no one understands this better than Dennis.
He has been able to make an impact on certain parts of the industry that is has never experienced. Initially Dennis DeGrazia was a contractor learning how the business operated and what areas of the industry held the biggest potential for growth. He realized that protecting houses from the natural elements was becoming an important asset for homebuyers.
As both a weatherization expert and a contractor, Dennis helped Community Action Programs develop a system to expedite the process of creating large-scale projects. No such plan had existed and the initiative greatly reduced the time it took to complete such involved undertakings. This was only one of many highlights of his successful career.
Dennis DeGrazia first began working for Highridge Development Co. in 2004. As its Managing Member, Dennis was an integral part of a firm that was created to develop, manage and invest in a large variety of real estate projects. The company’s investments were located up and down the East Coast and included property types such as multi-family, commercial and residential. Covering a wide span of real estate not only allowed Highridge to diversify their holdings but also provided Dennis, a proud real estate development enthusiast, with invaluable experience.
Dennis DeGrazia’s time spent at Highridge Development Co. provided him with a solid foundation for his next endeavor in the construction industry. Dennis began to take an interest in weatherization and in 2010 he was appointed to a leadership position and helped develop a leading weatherization company. As executive vice president Dennis played an integral role in getting the newly formed company off of the ground. His expertise in real estate and his strong experience with national contracting helped to make the business the foremost weatherization company in Massachusetts. Dennis was also able to establish systems and procedures that streamlined operations and changed the weatherization industry in Massachusetts.
Around this time, Dennis DeGrazia started to perform a good amount of work for community action programs. He began to realize the need for energy efficiency in both multi-family and single family homes. With the resources of the company available to him he began to head projects that weatherized large and small properties to ensure that they were as energy efficient as possible.
Throughout the state, Dennis DeGrazia and his weatherization team have helped to reduce the energy consumption needs of over 10,000 housing units. This greater efficiency has helped to lighten the load on a very strained national and state power grid. Dennis’s actions have also given many low-income families the opportunity to save money on heating and electric bills. Retrofitting houses to be more efficient created jobs and put more money in the pockets of homeowners helping to create better local and state economies.
Much of Dennis DeGrazia’s success has come from his willingness to create and maintain important relationships. One of the most beneficial partnerships for Dennis has worked indirectly with the organization known as LEAN. Much of what Dennis has done in the past would not be possible without the support of LEAN who works very hard to make sure low-income families are able to save money and have more environmentally responsible homes.
LEAN stands for Low-Income Energy Affordability Network and their mission is to locate and focus their resources on those developments that waste and use a lot of energy. These types of properties are retrofitted with upgrades that implement “green” technologies. Services like this have helped Dennis to better coordinate his efforts in locating properties figuring out exactly what types of weatherization each location requires.
Figuring out what each location requires may seem like a daunting task but over Dennis DeGrazia’s full career, he has been able to properly implement large scale energy audits on both low rise and high rise facilities. This process is designed to find the areas of a home, unit or building that are wasting energy. The survey will isolate the improvements that can be made and will more easily allow the technicians to install the right types of technologies. Besides the obvious features that waste energy like windows and doors, there are also others that are not so obvious that an energy audit will uncover.
Once the energy audit has been completed, Dennis and his team move to properly weatherize these facilities. He has helped to weatherize countless apartments and homes and his experience is extremely valuable. While his professional work is second to none, he has always believed in the option for property owners and homeowners to weatherize their homes on their own. Here are a few tips to help any home stay energy efficient through the hot summer or the cold winter.
Searching around the outside of the home for any openings or gaps that may exist due to electrical wires, dryer vents and water lines is a good start to preventing air from encroaching or escaping the house. Sealing up these holes is relatively easy and can go a long way in saving money on next month’s electric or gas bill. It can also be beneficial to caulk around the sides of windows and doors. These areas are notorious for creating unwanted drafts.
Just like a car it is important to perform routine maintenance on the heater. Making sure that it is performing at its best will keep as efficient as possible. The house will stay warm for longer and the unit will not turn on as frequently when it is operating at its full potential. This will cut down on energy usage and save the homeowner money in utilities.
Together, the weatherization and home construction industry have proved to be a fruitful career for many. The industries are growing and there is more demand than ever. For those like Dennis DeGrazia who have been at the forefront of innovation for many years, the industry has allowed them to be respected and extremely successful in their endeavors.
The need for more energy efficient homes will continue to grow into the future. There are more properties than ever that require electricity and this increased demand puts a greater strain on the electrical grid. The best way to lessen that added pressure without removing properties is to create more energy efficient homes that need less energy to run at a normal operating level.
Dennis DeGrazia is on the cutting edge of this movement to create energy responsible homes. He has applied his passion for energy efficiency to a segment of the population that often gets overlooked. Low-income families may not prioritize energy efficiency because of its cost but Dennis has seen a growing a need and has committed his career to making the transformation affordable.
Those families who do not qualify as low-income can afford energy efficiency most of the time they request it. But just because low-income families might not be able to afford it, doesn’t mean that making their home energy efficient would not make a positive impact.
Dennis DeGrazia realizes the urgent need to convert every home with energy efficient technologies. He has chosen to help those who may not be able to help themselves by partnering with local agencies that facilitate the retrofit process. There is much promise and potential in this area of energy efficiency and Dennis has made it his goal to usher less fortunate families into the future of clean and responsible energy.
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