Through renewable energy and efficiency upgrades, cities and towns across the state are saving money, strengthening communities, and helping Vermont meet its climate goals.
As a part of Vermont’s Climate Action Plan, our state has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Municipalities are key to achieving this goal by preserving open space, creating infrastructure that supports alternate modes of transportation, preparing the community for climate impacts, and improving the efficiency of town buildings.
Economics are another major motivator when it comes to efficiency upgrades. Energy expenses can consume a considerable portion of a town budget. Over time, efficiency improvements and clean, renewable energy help add vital financial resources back to the bottom line.
Finally, plans for improved energy efficiency can make communities more resilient. Energy efficiency brings with it greater independence and flexibility. It can help relieve undue financial pressure on residents, make indoor spaces more comfortable, and help towns adapt to any unexpected economic, infrastructural, or weather-related incidents.
Here are some things to think about when considering projects for your community:
- Efficiency Vermont offers free walkthroughs of town buildings to identify efficiency projects and high-level opportunities. They also offer resources and incentives to support new construction projects. While these walkthroughs are not part of the qualification process for the BGS municipal grant program noted above (and do not replace a formal energy audit), they can be a simple, effective way to help identify upgrades that towns may want to focus on.
- Financial assistance in the form of loans or bonds may also be an option depending on your project. Efficiency Vermont is a source for flexible, low-interest financing to help pay for energy saving improvements.