3rd Annual Burlington Electric Department Home Energy Tour

Saturday, October 5, 2019 10:00am – 1:00pm

Join us on Saturday, October 5, 10:00-1:00 for Burlington Electric Department’s third annual self-guided Home Energy Tour. Visit one or all of these open houses for inspiration on steps you can take toward our Net Zero Energy goal. Learn from Burlington home owners who are using solar, heat pump technology, and in-home energy devices plus weatherization to keep their Burlington homes warm in winter and cool in summer. Biking, carpooling, and car sharing recommended.

147 South Cove Rd recently installed a Vermod, a zero energy modular (ZEM) home, built here in Vermont by Vermod Homes, and designed for durability, energy efficiency, comfort, and superior indoor air quality. This small home provides an affordable option to homebuyers with savings that last the life of the home. As a zero energy home, the Vermod produces as much energy as it uses — which means no electric or heating costs —  thanks to its tight envelop, solar installation and heat pump technology.

This full-time house was designed to show a family can live with comfort and convenience in a small footprint (650 sq ft.) Constructed out of wood and insulated with cellulose, the house is a carbon sink. Going beyond the standard Vermod, the house features passive house-rated windows and doors, as well as a front door made in Vermont and insulated with sheep’s wool. With an electric car parked in the driveway, this is a zero emissions house including transportation.

59-61 Central Ave: Built in 1899, this duplex located in the Lakeside neighborhood of Burlington began a total renovation in 2012. In addition to fully rewiring and remodeling the interior framing and stairwell of the building, there were also extensive plumbing and electrical upgrades. This included an upgrade to the thermal envelope of the home complete with new drywall and finishes. Several major upgrades contributed to the efficiency of these units including the installation of a Weil McClain GV-3 boiler and installation of Rinnai wall hung units in 2012. Following the major remodel, ductless A/C systems were installed in 2013 to serve the owner occupied unit and in 2017 a three-season porch was winterized to accommodate 200 square feet of livable space.


71-73 Peru Street: Originally built as a duplex, this centrally located house has provided worker housing for over 120 years. In the past decade, renovations have cut total building energy use by more than 60% and natural gas use by 94%. Now comprised of four apartments, the house has received comprehensive air sealing, attic and wall insulation, and ventilation from the CVOEO weatherization program. Basement insulation, additional attic and roof insulation, two heat pump water heaters, and two dual head heat pumps were later projects. The south face was renovated to increase solar gain and daylighting, including glass doors that had to be custom ordered to avoid glass that blocks the sun’s warmth. Low-flow toilets and fixtures save water, and garden beds and shared composting help with food impacts. One apartment so far is fossil free with electric induction cooking. Finally, and most important from an energy or emissions perspective, the location less than two blocks from Church St is walkable (5 min. to the transit center), bikeable, and makes living car-free attainable and enjoyable.

176 N. Winooski Ave: This pre-1877 duplex has a new major addition on the back, which includes new space for the existing apartments plus a new 3 story apartment, which is the first to be Passive House certified in Burlington. The addition features all foam-free construction, showcasing carbon-conscious products such as 6.5” thick fiberboard continuous insulation (Gutex), Dense pack Cellulose stud cavities and roof, and foam-glass (Glavel) below the slab. Other features include triple-pane tilt-turn windows and full house balanced ventilation. The new apartment is all electric except for the water heater, and is modeled to be net zero energy. Like its neighbor on Peru Street, the location makes living car-free attainable and enjoyable.

29 E Village Drive, East Ave Co-Housing Unit: Visit the East Ave. Co-Housing community, established in 2007, and experience how environmental stewardship and sustainability are central throughout the complex. Visit a unit to learn more about wall and window insulation and passive solar. Learn about reduced energy load thanks to the common heating and hot water system for 30 units, a shared laundry facility, LED lights, variable speed pumps for heating, and low flow water lines and shower heads. Hear more about the Co-Housing’s 280 solar panels – 113 of which provide energy to the common meter – and how the rest provide credit to residents’ energy bills.  Learn about the Co-ops plans to install another 47 solar panels and how this power will provide credits on electric bills for families living outside of cohousing itself.