New program combines building efficiency, renewable heat, and solar power
Vermont Business Magazine Vermonters will spend over $2 billion on fossil fuels this year, money that is leaving the state instead of growing the local economy. Cutting invisible energy waste can go a long way towards changing this equation. Reducing home energy use is important to Vermonters, but many don’t know where to get started or how to make the best energy saving investments. That’s the basis for Zero Energy Now, a new program from the nonprofit Building Performance Professionals Association of Vermont (BPPA-VT).
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz speaks about the potential for the new Zero Energy Now program to streamline energy choices for Vermont home owners and lead to a real cut in our use of fossil fuels for heating. Also on hand to support the program (from left to right) are certified energy contractor Chuck Reiss, Green Mountain Power CEO and President Mary Powell, and Congressman Peter Welch. Courtesy photo.
One call will connect property owners with a certified energy contractor (CEC) who will conduct a detailed analysis of the building and present options for energy improvements that combine efficiency upgrades (including air sealing, insulation and heat pumps), renewable heating sources (such as replacing an oil furnace with a wood/pellet system) and solar power. Using this complete approach can reduce fossil fuel use by up to 100%.
The CEC will also update the owner about cash incentives for these improvements that are available now, as well as provide information on special low-cost financing options. In today’s market, monthly energy savings will often cover these loans. In addition, for a limited time Zero Energy Now can offer up to $5,000 extra for customers in select areas of Green Mountain Power’s service territory. To qualify, home owners will need to complete the upgrades by the end of the year.
“By looking at the whole energy picture, Zero Energy Now assures owners they can move forward with confidence towards a more comfortable and healthy home that is free from the price volatility and environmental impact of burning fossil fuel,” explains program coordinator Gabrielle Stebbins. “This approach will streamline decisions and make it easier for Vermont’s homes and businesses to reach their full energy potential.”
More information about Zero Energy Now is available at ZeroEnergyNowVt.com, on Facebook, or by calling (802) 477-5249.
At the kick-off event in Richmond, Congressman Peter Welch said, “Whether the goal is to save money, reduce carbon, or increase health and comfort, Zero Energy Now can streamline these decisions for the homeowner and be there every step of the way to coordinate energy improvements. This is another great example of Vermont small businesses leading the charge to combat global warming.”
All Zero Energy Now contractors are certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), are National Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Partners, and members of the Building Performance Professionals Association of Vermont (BPPA-VT). Zero Energy Now is sponsored by Green Mountain Power through a grant from the CEED program.
"We are thrilled to support Zero Energy Now and work together to radically transform our energy future," Green Mountain Power CEO and President Mary Powell said at today’s event. "GMP is committed to helping Vermonters use less energy, save money and be more comfortable and this program, like our eHome program, is so exciting because it is all about accelerating the pace of progress."