Cutting Vermont’s net energy costs by $80M in 2014

by Jim Merriam, Director of Efficiency Vermont

Regular readers know that Vermont invests in energy efficiency not only to help individual homes and businesses save money, but because there are big system-wide benefits that all of us get when the state uses less energy.

At the start of each year Efficiency Vermont files an Annual Plan that calls out key strategies and goals for maximizing the value that Vermont’s investment provides. The focus is on developing programs and services that are accessible and available to every single Vermonter: Whether Maple Center Motors in St. Johnsbury is looking to improve their lighting; King Arthur Flour is ready to build a new facility in the Upper Valley;  a student is learning about energy in the classroom; or a home owner from Williston wants to spend less money to heat her home, we are proud to develop and advance programs that support them all.

All that being said, if you opened the above link to Efficiency Vermont’s 2014 Annual Plan you probably noticed that it’s a pretty hefty document.  Assuming you aren’t the type to dive into a 44 page PDF (and – let’s face it: Who is?), I want to give you the bottom line on what we Vermonters will get for our 2014 investment in energy efficiency: $80 million in savings on our energy bills. (For those of you who pay close attention to facts and figures, it’s worth noting that this is net savings. In other words, the costs of obtaining these savings have already been subtracted out.)

Efficiency is Vermont’s cheapest, cleanest, and closest energy source

This is all possible because of the investment that Vermonters are making in energy efficiency – and Efficiency Vermont takes the responsibility of managing that investment very seriously. As an engineer, I get pretty excited about process improvements, retuning building systems, and all the innovative new technologies that are being brought to market. But at the end of the day, Efficiency Vermont’s priorities, and results, are really simple:

Ensuring that efficiency is Vermont’s CHEAPEST source of energy – because the cheapest kilowatt is the one you never use. The costs of operating Efficiency Vermont and installing efficient equipment and products at homes and businesses throughout the state are less than half of what it costs utilities to buy power.

Ensuring that efficiency is Vermont’s CLEANEST source of energy – because it doesn’t take a power plant to generate it or a transmission line to transport it.

Ensuring that efficiency is Vermont’s CLOSEST source of energy – because it is powered by the choices we make in our own homes and businesses, and it keeps our energy dollars local.

How will you save energy in 2014?

For the work that Vermonters all do together in 2014, we can expect to reduce Vermont’s net energy costs by $80 million. That’s our goal - and commitment – here at Efficiency Vermont.  My commitment to you is that we’ll let you know about the progress we are making toward this goal, and what we are doing to achieve it. Check back for regular updates throughout the year, and please share your thoughts in the comments below, or by dropping us a line. We would love to hear from you.

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