Joined by US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Green Mountain Power today announced a new initiative called "eHome," a first in the nation holistic home energy services program. The first home in the program is in Rutland and is called the Energy Home of the Future. This is the first of a 100-home pilot project. It will serve as the model for energy efficiency, weatherization, and the use of innovative new alternative energy technology tools such as high tech thermostats and smart electrical plugs. As part of the program, Green Mountain Power will work with customers to update existing homes to help them use less energy, save money, improve comfort, and reduce fossil fuel use.
Secretary Moniz was in Rutland on Friday and toured the Energy Home of the Future as part of his visit. He called the home the "pathway to the future" and lauded GMP and its partners for the important work they are doing to demonstrate the full value of energy efficiency and innovation.
"Efficiency and the emphasis on efficiency, including in this house, is really, really the pathway to the future. We cannot solve our energy and climate challenges without efficiency playing a huge role. So that's what you see being played out here in front of us and I want to thank the Borkowskis," said Secretary Moniz after touring the Energy Home of the Future.
US Energy Secretary Addresses Vermont Energy Summit
Prior to the Rutland visit, Secretary Moniz was up Route 7 in Middlebury. There, he spoke at a Vermont Energy Summit as part of a first-hand look at how Vermont is on the cutting edge of transforming its energy systems from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.
In remarks at Middlebury College, Moniz focused on the need to reduce the cost of clean energy. Vermont, he added, “really looks unique” in terms of public and private cooperation on energy issues.
Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont) welcomed the energy secretary to the state. The department Moniz heads, the delegation said, is an “indispensable partner in almost all of Vermont’s clean energy success stories,” including the first-in-the-nation statewide smart grid, Montpelier’s district heat project and Rutland County’s path-breaking efforts to improve energy efficiency at homes and businesses.
During the 90-minute energy summit, Moniz was joined by the congressional delegation and Goverrnor Peter Shumlin for the wide-ranging discussion of energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change. The delegation highlighted Vermont’s role in leading the nation in developing advanced energy storage, smart grid integration and resiliency, cold weather heat pumps, efficiency retrofits, clean energy research, and agricultural methane digester technologies.
“I believe this small state can lead the nation, which can lead the world. And that is, in fact, what we need to do,” said Sanders, a member of the Senate energy and environment committees.
“The Third National Climate Assessment shows the fast-evolving impacts of global climate change – effects we have already felt in Vermont,” Leahy said. “The Secretary’s strong comments make it clear that not much time remains for us to get this right. We’ve made a strong case this weekend for the strengths that add up to make the City of Rutland, our dairy farms and Vermont as a whole ideal partners for the Energy Department on a variety of energy solutions.”
“The secretary’s visit today demonstrates that Vermont is a model for the nation in our approach to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change,” said Welch. “I applaud his strong leadership on these issues and am confident he will be going back to Washington with some practical Vermont ideas to make progress for the country on these issues.”
RUTLAND, VT--(Marketwired - May 16, 2014) - GMP. Senator Sanders office. PHOTO: Secretary Moniz, right, with Governor Shumlin.