I’ve been in building management and energy services for the majority of my professional career, and one of the questions I consistently hear is, “How can I save money off my home or business heating bill?”
Over the past 20 years, Vermont has made great progress in the use of energy efficiency to help homeowners and businesses lower their heating costs.
There is no magic or complicated science involved — we simply enhance building, process and heating system efficiency, and the results are impressive reductions in fuel use and emissions.
Vermont Gas’ award-winning energy efficiency program has been helping residents, business owners, schools and municipalities save money since 1993. In total, our energy efficiency program has lowered energy bills by $13 million per year while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 62,000 tons.
The cumulative impact of these savings during the past 20 years equals approximately one full year of gas usage across all of Vermont Gas’ nearly 50,000 customers.
Our energy auditors and engineers meet with property owners or managers and evaluate the fuel usage; oftentimes, we find patterns that can be addressed by installing more insulation, using proper controls to regulate the building’s heating and hot water systems, or installing high-efficient heating systems that use less fuel. Any one of these changes can help, and in their totality can make a huge difference.
History has shown that we can save the average homeowner in excess of 20 percent off their annual energy usage for an investment that will pay for itself in a reasonable amount of time while improving the comfort and safety of the home.
During the last two decades, the quality and effectiveness of Vermont Gas’ energy efficiency programs has been recognized 33 times through national awards and recognition from organizations including the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
We at Vermont Gas are proud to live in a state that places a premium on environmental sensitivity and efficient use of resources. As we continue to expand natural gas service, we look forward to helping people in Addison and Rutland counties save money, lower their emissions and take comfort in an efficient, warm and snuggly house.
Scott Harrington is the manager of Vermont Gas’ energy efficiency program.MORE IN Commentary
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