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
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
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, www.efficiencyvermont.com and www.vecan.net.
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.