The Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) and Efficiency Vermont have launched a new partnership to lower municipal energy costs and climate impacts. The partnership, part of VLCT’s recently launched Business Alliance Program, is focused on helping municipalities access the support they need to reduce their energy costs and save taxpayer dollars.
Vermont’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 allocated over $200 million to its towns. Other state and federal funding opportunities are on the horizon. Towns can work directly with VLCT experts to understand how to leverage these dollars. One option is to invest in energy efficiency projects that can reduce energy expenses and support their climate goals.
“Vermont’s cities, towns, and villages heat and cool more than 2,000 municipal buildings and maintain and operate more than 4,000 vehicles, all contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption,” said VLCT Executive Director Ted Brady. “Vermonters are demanding that government at every level reduce climate impacts and reduce energy costs. This new partnership will give community leaders the tools necessary to take action at scale right away.”
Municipalities that are interested in saving energy can sign up for a free energy assessment from Efficiency Vermont (www.efficiencyvermont.com/towns). During this consultation, an Efficiency Vermont energy consultant will work with town staff to identify and prioritize energy-saving projects for their buildings.
“Efficiency Vermont offers programs that can support all municipalities in achieving their energy reduction goals,” said Efficiency Vermont Interim Director, Rebecca Foster. “We can help towns identify the most impactful efficiency opportunities and provide technical support and incentives that reduce overall project costs and drive taxpayer savings. Thanks to our partnership with VLCT, we’re eager to help more communities take advantage of our programs.”
This session, the Vermont Legislature is considering bills that would create additional energy-related opportunities for municipalities. Should these proposals pass into law, the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services (BGS) would be able to offer grants of up to $250,000 per municipality to undertake energy efficiency projects like fuel switching and weatherization using state-allocated ARPA funding. VLCT, the Department of Buildings and General Services, the state’s regional planning commissions, and Efficiency Vermont would work together to develop and implement the grant program.
“There has never been a better time to act,” said Brady. “Funding improvements to Vermont’s municipal infrastructure can be a challenge. This is a historic opportunity for towns to invest in Vermont’s long-term recovery and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a win-win.”
About Efficiency Vermont
As the nation’s first energy efficiency utility, Efficiency Vermont has helped Vermont avoid over 12.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has received the Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program for the last six years. Efficiency Vermont works with partners to help our state transition to more affordable, low carbon energy use through education, incentives, and support for our clean energy workforce.
About the Vermont League of Cities and Towns
The Vermont League of Cities and Towns is a non-partisan, member-owned, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening local government. VLCT works with the legislature and partners to develop innovative programs that help municipalities implement priorities such as addressing climate change and building resiliency at the municipal level. All 246 Vermont cities and towns are members, along with another 144 units of local government, such as villages, fire districts and solid waste management districts.