SmartLiving Center

Look, Touch, Learn and Save

The SmartLiving Center is part science museum, part hands-on activity center for children and part energy efficiency home improvement showroom for adults. The SmartLiving Center features educational seminars, special events and tours, all geared toward teaching Connecticut rate payers how they can use energy wisely and not sacrificing comfort or style.

The SmartLiving Center

The SmartLiving Center is an interactive, professionally-staffed facility that serves as a high-profile resource for promoting energy-efficient products, services and ideas. This educational facility features seminars, special events and student tours – all geared toward teaching rate payers how to use energy wisely while not sacrificing comfort or style.

Currently located in Orange, CT, the SmartLiving Center is devoted to exhibits highlighting ENERGY STAR® appliances, lighting solutions for your home and small business. Additionally, there is a showcase of eco-friendly products and resources for rate payers interested in becoming more energy efficient.

Featured Exhibits

  • Builders Showcase - Displays new technologies for energy-efficient heating, cooling and insulation as well as other building options.
     
  • Green Room - Features solutions for home building that have a “green” focus: reused, renewable, or recycled.
     
  • How Do You Stack Up? - Figure out how much energy your home uses in a day. Learn how to cut back, too.
     
  • Plus, see the latest in energy-efficient outdoor home and garden lighting solutions.

Tours*

The SmartLiving Center provides guided tours for school children across the state of Connecticut. During a tour, students will learn about energy, electricity, electrical safety, electric generation and transmission, nonrenewable resources, renewable resources, conservation, energy efficiency and the connection between energy, electricity and the environment. All tours are aligned with the Connecticut Science Framework. See the educational tab for more information.

Meetings/Training Sessions*

The SmartLiving Center is the perfect place to hold your next meeting or training session. A tour of the Center could be a great addition to the agenda!  Our meeting space is available at no cost to contractors, nonprofits, civic organizations and community groups. We have meeting space for groups of up to 40 adults. To accommodate the needs of your organization, we can open early or remain open after hours and on weekends. See our brochure for more information.

Seminars*

The SmartLiving Center offers educational seminars to adults after work and on weekends with topics regarding residential and commercial energy efficiency and renewable energy

All seminars are offered at no cost to attendees. See our calendar of events for the latest seminar offerings.

*All tours, meetings and training sessions must be booked in advance to ensure proper staffing and/or space is available. Please call 203-799-0460 for all booking requests. 

Events

The SmartLiving Center hosts events throughout the year for children and their families to learn about energy, energy-efficient technologies and clean, renewable energy sources.

Activities include:

  • Interactive workshops for children
     
  • Live entertainment
     
  • Educational activities and games for children and adults
     
  • Exhibitors featuring insulation, windows, appliances and renewable resources
     
  • Farmers’ markets featuring seasonal fruits, vegetables and plants
     
  • Prizes, giveaways and refreshments

All events are offered at no cost to attendees. Visit our calendar for upcoming events.

Bus Reimbursement

All schools in CL&P and UI service territories are eligible to receive up to a $250 bus reimbursement for their visit to the SmartLiving Center.

The SmartLiving Center is funded by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and administered by The United Illuminating Company.

Call 203-799-0460 for more information.

Location, Contact Information, Hours, and Directions

Location

297 Boston Post Road (Route 1)
Orange, Connecticut
The SmartLiving Center is located in the Orange Commons (Wells Fargo, Cold Stone Creamery, and Dunkin Donuts)

Phone

203-799-0460

Hours

Monday - Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday 10 am – 4 pm

Directions

Traveling on I-95 South

  1. Take Exit 41 (Marsh Hill Road) in Orange
  2. Turn right off of the exit ramp and follow to Route 1
  3. Turn Right onto Route 1 North
  4. The SmartLiving Center is 1/4 mile on the left

Traveling on I-95 North

  1. Take Exit 41 (Marsh Hill Road) in Orange
  2. Turn left off of the exit ramp and follow to Route 1
  3. Turn right onto Route 1 North
  4. The SmartLiving Center is 1/4 mile on the left

From Hartford, via Wilbur Cross/Merritt Parkway

  1. Take I-91 South to the Wilbur Cross Parkway (Route 15 South)
  2. Take exit 57 (Route 34 East) in Orange
  3. Follow Route 34 to the 2nd light 
  4. Turn right onto Racebrook Road (Route 114)
  5. Go to Route 1 intersection (2.2 miles)
  6. Turn right onto Route 1
  7. Turn right into the Orange Commons (Wells Fargo, Cold Stone Creamery, Dunkin Donuts)

From Route 8 South

  1. Take exit #15 for Route 34 East-NH
  2. After passing ramps to Merritt Parkway, follow Route 34 to 2nd light 
  3. Turn right onto Racebrook Road (Route 114)
  4. Go to the Route 1 intersection (2.2 miles)
  5. Turn right onto Route 1
  6. Turn right into the Orange Commons (Wells Fargo, Cold Stone Creamery, Dunkin Donuts)
Call 203-799-0460 for more information.

Tours and School Visits

The SmartLiving Center offers guided educational tours for schools, summer camps, Boy and Girl Scout troops, nonprofit organizations, civic organizations and environmental groups.

General Information

  • Tours are available for ages 5 to adult
     
  • Tours last between 60 and 120 minutes. Schools are offered either morning or afternoon tours (10 am – 12 pm or 12 pm - 2 pm)
     
  • Students leave with an information packet to share with their parents
     
  • With prior notice, student tours may bring and eat their lunch at the Center
     
  • School tours are offered a juice box and snack at the culmination of the tour
     
  • Tours are offered at no cost to Connecticut rate payers
     
  • Cancellations: please call 203-799-0460 as soon as possible to reschedule

Scheduling Your Visit

Tours can be scheduled by simply calling 203-799-0460. We take reservations up to a year in advance — make sure to call early! Please have the following information available when scheduling your tour:

  • School or organization name, address and phone number
     
  • Teacher name(s)
     
  • Group size: students, teachers and chaperones
     
  • Grade level or ages
     
  • Primary contact
     
  • Special needs, if any

Bus Reimbursement Program

The bus reimbursement program is designed to help groups pay transportation costs associated with their visit. To process bus reimbursements, we must receive a completed bus reimbursement form and an invoice from the bus company. Please remember that processing generally takes four to six weeks. Reimbursements are capped at $250 per bus.

School Visits

The SmartLiving Center is an excellent resource for school visits. Admission and tours are available at no cost and students learn valuable information about energy, energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy. All tours are aligned with the Connecticut Science Frameworks and the National Science Standards. See our brochure for specifics on concepts.

Sample Tours and Educational Activities:

  • Group Presentation – The tour begins in the assembly room with content focusing on age- and grade-appropriate themes regarding sources of energy, fossil fuels, renewable resources, electricity generation, climate change and conservation.
     
  • Door Hangers – The youngest visitors of the Center are able to decorate wooden door hangers that remind visitors to “turn off the lights.” Students learn about conservation of electricity and are able to take home their door hangers.
     
  • Meter Table – Have you ever looked at your electric meter when your household is using light bulbs and appliances? This exhibit will help you see the difference in electricity usage of incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs).
     
  • Builders Showcase – Students take a closer look at how electricity moves from power lines to the inside of a house. A cut-away house demonstrates the importance of insulation placement to help keep houses cool and warm. This area also showcases high-efficiency appliances and windows.

See our brochure for a complete list.

Call 203-799-0460 for more information.