The Mountain Times

°F Thu, April 24, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Letter to the Editor: Energy Challenge offers big opportunity

Dear Editor,

Just over a week ago, our weather here in Rutland County fluctuated from -12 to 57 degrees - Mother Nature teasing us with spring-like temperatures and reminding us that winter is not done quite yet. That reminder prompts this one about the Vermont Energy Challenge.

Green Mountain Power's Energy Innovation Center and Neighborworks of Western Vermont recently co-hosted a public meeting at the Rutland Regional Planning Commission office in Rutland to kickoff local efforts in the 2013 Vermont Home Energy Challenge. This challenge is asking all Vermonters to participate in a town-versus-town, county-versus-county, statewide effort to compete with each other to reach, or exceed, a target of weatherizing 3 percent of homes within every community.

Why a challenge now? The state is falling short of its residential thermal efficiency goals, and numerous groups and organizations are pulling together to spread the word on the economic value and comfort that can be achieved through weatherization. The Vermont State Energy Plan calls for 80,000 homes to be weatherized by 2020, with 3 percent of homes weatherized annually. Currently we are reaching less than 1 percent as a state.

There will also be prizes and bragging rights awarded to the top towns and regions in the challenge. This is the perfect time for all of us to do something about the cold. 

For my part, my family has had an energy audit performed, and we're going to review the audit recommendations and implement its suggestions.

You can do something about the cold too - take part in the Vermont Energy Challenge! It's easy and you can participate in a number of ways: get a low-cost home energy audit, host a home energy party, or fill out a "Take the Pledge" card. If you are interested and located in Rutland County, visit Neighborworks at

Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network also have some great information available at their websites, and

By participating, you'll help reduce your home heating and energy costs, make your home more comfortable, and help ensure Rutland City and all the towns of Rutland County fare well in the ongoing Vermont Energy Challenge.

Steve Costello, Rutland Town

Steve Costello is vice president for generation and energy innovation at Green Mountain Power.