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What is Efficiency Vermont?

by Jim Merriam, Director of Efficiency Vermont

I thought I would use our post this week to speak to a question that I get quite a lot: “What IS Efficiency Vermont?” 

It’s a great question, and I honestly never tire of the conversations that it generates. They are a fantastic chance for me to learn what Vermonters think about our collective approach to energy – and all the potential they see for us to do better. 

A bit of background on Efficiency Vermont

The goal of Efficiency Vermont is to reduce our state’s energy usage, which brings down our short and long term energy costs. In other words, the benefits of energy efficiency are very broad and extend to everyone in the state. 

In 1999, when the Vermont Legislature passed the law that enabled the creation of a statewide energy efficiency utility, they called for a program owned and directed by the State, and operated for the State’s benefit. To this end, the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, which has a long history of designing and delivering energy efficiency programs, has had the privilege of operating Efficiency Vermont under the direction and oversight of the Public Service Board since its inception in 2000.

How energy efficiency adds up for Vermonters

But, this is where it gets really interesting, because the only way we truly succeed is if we are all in it together. There is always something that we can do to make better use of our energy – by doing more with less.

There are simple actions that virtually any of us can take: such as installing a CFL light bulb or conserving energy by shutting off lights when we don’t need them. There are steps that require more planning: such as upgrading to ENERGY STAR® appliances or pursuing a comprehensive home efficiency upgrade. And there are large businesses whose energy profiles are highly complex – but with in-depth technical analysis and deep engagement on energy efficiency they can realize very impressive results, like the successful work at the Burlington International Airport. 

And that’s what Efficiency Vermont really is: all of us working together to get the most – and best – use of our energy spending. If you’ve got stories to share about what that has meant in your life, or ideas about how we can go even further, please share them in the comments. Let’s keep the conversation going!


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