When Orleans County completed two major energy efficiency projects, area taxpayers had reason to celebrate. That’s because efficiency improvements to the county courthouse and sheriff’s department cut yearly energy bills by more than $6,000. Today, with energy-saving lighting, insulation, and heating systems, the buildings stay warm all winter and provide safer, well-lit spaces, inside and out.
“I am still in shock how much was improved in these two buildings and the diligent work Efficiency Vermont and our local contractors did to make our projects a success,” said Mary Ann Fletcher, Orleans County Treasurer.
In addition to lowering costs and increasing comfort, the upgrades improved working conditions for courthouse staff. Workers used to dread going into the damp, dark, spider-inhabited basement. Now, the staff enjoys trips to the basement storage and break rooms, which are well lit, dry, and pest free. A basement dehumidifier, which was being emptied twice per day, is no longer needed.
Contractors for the courthouse project were Fred’s Energy of Vermont, Derby; Gates Electric, Newport, and New England Foam & Coating, St. Johnsbury. For the sheriff’s department, contractors were Gates Electric, Newport; Nadeau’s Plumbing & Heating, Newport, and Northeast Employment Training, Newport.
The two municipal upgrades marked the launch of Efficiency Vermont’s 2017-2018 community-wide initiative in the greater Newport area. Through the effort, Efficiency Vermont delivered on-site energy consultations, workshops, and objective guidance on optimal energy-saving approaches for homes, commercial buildings and farms. Newport was one of three areas of the state, along with Morrisville and Vergennes, that began community-wide efficiency efforts with Efficiency Vermont in 2017.