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House passes Welch legislation advancing energy efficiency in schools

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 8:00am -- ayla

The U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Peter Welch’s bipartisan legislation to encourage schools administrators to make cost-saving energy efficiency upgrades. The Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act, modeled after Vermont’s school-based energy efficiency efforts, is the second Welch-authored energy efficiency bill to pass the House this year.

Energy organizations team up for door-to-door campaign in Rutland

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 8:00am -- ayla

Three organizations are joining efforts to help Rutland residents lower their energy costs this summer. Efficiency Vermont, Green Mountain Power (GMP), and Neighbor Works of Western Vermont H.E.A.T. Squad are teaming up to knock on every door in the City to reach out to Rutland City residents, answer their energy questions, and connect them with opportunities to lower their energy costs. The goal is to reach out to over 7,000 households by September.

Northern Power Systems purchases Wind Iris Lidar from Renewable NRG Systems

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 8:00am -- ayla

Renewable NRG Systems, a designer and manufacturer of decision support tools for the global renewable energy industry, has supplied a Wind Iris nacelle-mounted Lidar system to Northern Power Systems Corp. (TSX: NPS) for the purpose of performing power curve testing and validation of the NPS 100 wind turbine platform. The Wind Iris will be used to measure the free stream wind speed ahead of the turbine, where the blocking effect is minimal.

White pine needle disease conspicuous throughout Vermont

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 4:13am -- tim

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation reports that white pine tree needle damage is widespread in the state again this spring. According to Windham County Forester Bill Guenther, “The golden hue of white pine needle blight exploded onto the scene in early June”.  Although the damage is very noticeable, it is not life-threatening to healthy white pines.

SBA disaster loan deadline in Vermont is July 21

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 4:09am -- tim

The US Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses that July 21 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans that are available in the counties of Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange,Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor in Vermont as a result of excessive rain and flooding beginning May 5, 2013.

Vermont ranks in top three for personal income growth

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 5:03pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Another economic data point ranks Vermont among the best in the nation. State personal income increased 0.8 percent on average in the US in the first quarter of 2014, an acceleration from the 0.5 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to estimates released Tuesday by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income grew in 46 states and growth accelerated in 24 of those states. The fastest growth, 1.4 percent, was in Washington state, Vermont, and West Virginia.

State auditor examines consumer access to health care information

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 4:08pm -- tim

Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer today released the findings of an investigation into a powerful state database that sheds light on prices, trends, and variation across Vermont’s health care system. The Vermont Health Care Uniform Reporting and Evaluation System (VHCURES) is a digital catalogue of all fees for medical services and products that insurers paid over the last seven years for Vermont residents.

Four Vermont high schools awarded public outreach grant

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 8:00am -- ayla

Four high schools in Vermont were awarded grants from the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) to help build public understanding and support for the Act 77 Legislation of 2013 designed to provide students with multiple pathways to graduation, the Agency announced today.

The four schools are: Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon; Twinfield Union School in Plainfield; Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg; and Colchester High School in Colchester.

Energy issues matter to Vermonters, two polls show

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 7:59am -- tim

by John Herrick The vast majority of Vermonters want to use less fossil fuel for their energy needs, but the cost to reduce one’s carbon footprint is a challenge, according to a survey the Energy Action Network released last week. The Energy Action Network is launching an initiative designed to promote ways residents can turn strongly held beliefs about climate change into action, the group says.

Pelham: Government growing faster than the economy

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 6:11am -- tim

by Tom Pelham Inevitably, violating principles of sustainable spending has both fiscal and political consequences. At its core, sustainable spending requires that growth in government spending reasonably equate to growth in the underlying economy supporting such spending, especially in relatively high tax states like Vermont. In recent years, our state leaders have wandered from these core principles and the consequences, both fiscal and soon political, are now unfolding.