Incentives offered to “Button Up” Vermont homes for winter

A coalition of Vermont organizations joined Congressman Peter Welch recently to kick off the 2018 Button Up Vermont campaign, designed to inspire Vermonters to make their homes more comfortable and more affordable ahead of the winter heating season.

Vermont has a statewide goal of achieving 25 percent energy savings in at least 80,000 homes by 2020. Button Up Vermont’s goal is to make at least 5,000 Vermont homes warmer and less expensive to heat by the end of this year.

“Investing in energy efficiency saves money, creates jobs, and improves the environment,” Welch said. “I encourage all Vermonters to invest in their home’s thermal efficiency before winter arrives. Together, we can save money on energy bills and reduce harmful carbon emissions.”

Williston resident Myra Boenke hosted the event at her home. “I’m glad to move Vermont one home closer to its goal for energy conservation, and I’m looking forward to burning fewer fossil fuels this winter,” she said. Boenke completed a comprehensive home energy project with Building Energy earlier this year. “I urge all of my neighbors to commit to doing at least one project that will help keep cold air out, and warm air in this winter. No step is too small.”

Informational workshops and community events are planned for participating Button Up Vermont partner communities where resident can get weatherization tips and advice from professionals and receive free energy-efficiency products to help button up their homes.

New this year, residents in 19 participating communities will be able to sign up for free home energy walkthroughs by professional contractors.

Efficiency Vermont $100 rebates for DIY

Handy Vermonters who want make their homes warmer and more affordable themselves should check out $100 rebates from Efficiency Vermont for do-it-yourselfers to lower the cost of weatherization materials.

While a comprehensive energy retrofit by a qualified contractor is the best way to save money and reduce carbon emissions from a home, many people are not ready for that step.

“The more Vermonters get involved in even small do-it-yourself projects to prepare for winter and experience the benefits, the more inspired they’ll be to continue buttoning up their homes in years to come,” said Efficiency Vermont program director Carol Weston.

To qualify, rebate applicants must complete any three of seven approved projects and submit photos of the finished work:

• Build or purchase an airtight, well-insulated attic hatch

• Air seal and insulate the box sill and rim joists in basements

• Build an airtight, well-insulated bulkhead door in basements

• Spot air seal and insulate attics

• Install a new window, Low-E storm window or panel

• Weatherize windows

• Weatherize exterior doors

Deadline for rebate submissions is March 1, 2019, and must include purchases between Sept. 15, 2018 and Feb. 1, 2019. More information including instructional videos, printable guides and rebate forms are online at efficiencyvermont.com/diyprojects.

Partner organizations for Button Up Vermont include Burlington Electric, Capstone Community Action, Champlain Valley Weatherization Service, Efficiency Vermont, Energy Coop of Vermont, Green Mountain Power, SunCommon, the Vermont Electric Cooperative, the Vermont Gas Systems, the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, and others.

More information online at buttonupvermont.org.

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