Burlington, Vt. – The Burlington Electric Department and Vermont Gas Systems today launched a new residential energy efficiency program that challenges and encourages homeowners and renters in Vermont’s largest city to take power over their energy use. The new residential program is the next step in the unique Vermont Gas-Burlington Electric energyChamp partnership, first announced in June 2015 to offer incentives to owners of multi-unit residential rentals who committed to improving the energy efficiency of their buildings. A key feature of this new residential program is an easy-to-use website – www.energyChamp.org – that helps Burlingtonians visualize and understand their energy use, save money by improving their efficiency through reduced energy consumption, and help advance our efforts to be a sustainable city.
The original Energy Champ Challenge resulted in 163 energy audits, far exceeding the initial goal of 50, and completed efficiency upgrades on 63 buildings resulting in a total savings of more than $647,000 for Burlington landlords and tenants. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Burlington Electric to take our Energy Champ Challenge program to the next level,” said Don Rendall, President and CEO of Vermont Gas. “We’ve had great success with our first stage, bringing efficiency savings to Burlington’s rental market, a traditionally tough one to crack. We are excited to enter this new energyChamp phase by offering Burlington families incentives to save money, use less energy, and reduce carbon emissions – a winning combination for the entire community.”
The new program offers an innovative way for Burlington Electric and Vermont Gas customers to benefit from multiple energy savings opportunities. Through one simple interaction with the new website, customers will learn, based on their energy usage, if they rank as an “energy rookie,” “energy contender,” or “energyChamp,” with each designation represented by a different, playful depiction of Burlington’s favorite lake monster, Champ.
Customers will see how their energy use compares to all other Burlington residents living in similiar housing types, including single-family, condominiums, or apartments. Residents who use the least amount of energy in a given month will earn the designation “energyChamp.” The new website will offer a wide-range of possible steps, services, and savings opportunities based upon each designation.
The first 500 participants who take the new challenge will be entered into a drawing to win a home energy-makeover, which will include up to $15,000 in cost-effective weatherization and electric efficiency measures for a residential Burlington property-owner. Participants must have a home energy audit by Vermont Gas and/or Burlington Electric staff and have at least $5,000 in needed weatherization and electric efficiency upgrades. Funds will be provided to an authorized contractor, who will complete the work on the property. Funds will be used for energy efficiency measures, such as insulation of attics and walls, sealing of air leaks, and LED lighting.
“Our new energyChamp program and website demonstrate our continuing commitment to lead through energy innovation as we help our customers take power over their energy,” said Neale Lunderville, General Manager of Burlington Electric. “This exciting partnership with Vermont Gas changes the way we do energy efficiency. Not only does it bridge thermal and electric efficiencies, but also will help advance our efforts to become a net zero energy city.”
During the energyChamp launch, which took place in front of City Hall on Church Street, Mayor Miro Weinberger stated: “Burlington Electric continues to lead our community forward toward a more sustainable future. The energyChamp program creates a new opportunity for Burlingtonians to save money and help the environment using innovative technology and an expanded partnership with Vermont Gas.”
Jennifer Green, City of Burlington Sustainability Coordinator, added: “We’re better together! With nearly all Burlington residences having both natural gas and electric accounts, this collaboration makes good sense, providing Burlingtonians more tools to cut down on both their electric and thermal energy use. As a Burlington resident, I’m excited that my neighbors and I will be able to easily access Burlington Electric and Vermont Gas programs through this simple, one-stop-shopping program.”
Even CHAMP, the Vermont Lake Monsters furry, friendly mascot and huge energy efficiency advocate, was on hand for the announcement, and if CHAMP could speak, he no doubt would have shared the story about how Burlington Electric worked with the Lake Monsters to dramatically improve the efficiency of its stadium lighting system.
The Home Energy Makeover Trailer was on hand for the announcement and will remain on Church Street through Wednesday, February 1, 2017 and be staffed by Burlington Electric and Vermont Gas team members to help Burlingtonians learn more about energyChamp and how to make their homes more energy efficient.
To benefit from this new program, homeowners and renters (with homes, condominiums, and apartment buildings) should visit energyChamp.org, answer a few quick questions, and be on their way to becoming energyChamps.
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About Vermont Gas Systems
Vermont Gas Systems is a leader in energy efficiency and innovation, offering a clean, safe, affordable choice for almost 50,000 homes, businesses, and institutions in Franklin and Chittenden counties. The company plays an important role in Vermont’s clean energy future by displacing higher-emitting fuels and with its award-winning energy efficiency programs. For more information about Vermont Gas, visit www.VermontGas.com.
Contact: Beth Parent, 802.578.2776, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Burlington Electric Department
Burlington Electric Department has been serving its customers with safe and reliable power since 1905. Burlington Electric is a recognized national leader in green energy with the recent milestone achievement of sourcing 100 percent of its power from renewable generation. With a focus on low and stable rates and a commitment to energy efficiency, Burlington Electric’s 20,000 customers use less power today than they did in 1989. For more information about Burlington Electric, visit www.burlingtonelectric.com.
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