HEAT Squad, an energy efficiency service developed by NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, is expanding to the Northeast Kingdom with the help of a $250,000 Northern Border Regional Commission grant.
The strategy of HEAT Squad focuses on educating homeowners about energy efficiency; offering low-cost energy audits and same day audit reports; objective advice and guidance regarding recommendations; referrals to local contractors; access to NWWVT in-house affordable financing; submissions for any applicable rebates; and quality review of each project.
The program, with roots in Rutland County, has created 62 jobs, three new businesses, and retrofitted 1,500 Vermont homes over the last six years. As the HEAT Squad extends to Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia counties, it will create 36 local jobs and complete 233 home energy retrofits, saving residents $400,000 total over three years.
“This is one area that needs this probably more than any place in the state,” said program manager Melanie Paskevich. “We’re excited about this opportunity and helping residents of the Northeast Kingdom make their homes healthier, safer, more efficient, and more affordable.”
HEAT Squad was one of ten Vermont organizations to receive a NBRC award. At the award ceremony in
Hardwick on Thursday, Governor Phil Scott congratulated the recipients.
“These grants aim to help our forest-based economies, our emerging agricultural entrepreneurs, and the communities they depend upon to make investments in themselves – creating new opportunities for
Vermonters,” said Scott. “This is incredibly valuable to our efforts to grow Vermont’s economy, and I want to thank our Congressional Delegation for supporting this program.”