Expanded weatherization yields EPA recognition for Vermont
Every winter for years, Ruth Rubin’s Danville farmhouse was cold and drafty and heating bills cut into her carefully managed household budget. Ruth wanted to invest in a comprehensive weatherization project, but was wary of the upfront cost.
When Efficiency Vermont announced higher incentives and low- to no-cost financing in mid-2019, Ruth knew her opportunity to take action had arrived. She worked with VT Energy Audits, a member of Efficiency Vermont’s Energy Excellence Network, and enrolled in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. This gave her access to incentives for half the cost of her weatherization project, up to $4,000.
Before working with VT Energy Audits, Ruth participated in a targeted program that enabled her to meet with one of Efficiency Vermont’s Energy Consultants, who advised her on the most cost-effective efficiency measures to take and helped her identify a contractor in her area. “Having guidance from an unbiased and fact-based entity gave me confidence that I was making the right decision to weatherize my home,” said Ruth. “And then the expanded weatherization incentives through Efficiency Vermont enabled me to complete this important step that I had been contemplating for years.”
Ruth is among hundreds of Vermonters who took advantage of the increased incentives, made available after the Vermont Legislature authorized Efficiency Vermont to direct $2.25 million from its electric energy efficiency funding to increase access to weatherization programs. The funding was specifically focused on “moderate income” Vermonters, with household incomes between 80 percent and 120 percent of area median income.
“Helping our low- and moderate-income friends and neighbors is an important part of Efficiency Vermont’s mission,” said Efficiency Vermont Director Rebecca Foster. “The expanded incentives that we are offering for weatherization projects is just one way that we have supported low- and moderate-income Vermonters—and we are looking to expand that support in the coming months due to the many challenges families are now facing.”
Vermont’s success in making weatherization more accessible to Vermonters of all income levels in 2019 was one of the key reasons that the U.S. Environmental Agency honored Efficiency Vermont recently with its ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Efficiency Vermont has received this distinction.
“Our success over the years has directly resulted from the strong partnerships we have built with Vermont’s utilities, contractors, suppliers and, most of all, customers like Ruth Rubin,” said Foster. “This award is a symbol of that collaborative success and we are very happy to accept it on behalf of all our partners.”
EPA presents the Sustained Excellence Award to partners that have already received ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year recognition for a minimum of two consecutive years and have gone above and beyond the criteria needed to qualify for recognition. Winners hail from small, family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 organizations—representing energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors.
“I salute the 2020 ENERGY STAR award winners,” said Anne Idsal, EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. “These leaders demonstrate how energy efficiency drives economic competitiveness in tandem with environmental protection.”
For a complete list of 2020 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit energystar.gov/awardwinners.
About Efficiency Vermont
As the nation’s first Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont has helped Vermont avoid over 13.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence award for the last seven consecutive years. Efficiency Vermont works with partners to help our state transition to more affordable, low carbon energy use through education, incentives, and support for our clean energy workforce. Learn more at www.efficiencyvermont.com.
About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations—including more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500 companies—rely on their partnership with EPA to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its thousands of partners helped American families and businesses save more than 4 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity and achieve over 3.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. In 2018 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans avoid nearly $35 billion in energy costs. More background information about ENERGY STAR can be found at: energystar.gov/about and energystar.gov/numbers
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