January 2024 North Avenue News: Energy Assistance

Burlington Electric Department Highlights Ways to Save Money

Get Help Paying Your Electric Bills with BED’s Energy Assistance Program

As we enter 2024, we encourage income-qualified customers to sign up BED’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP). BED first created the EAP as a pandemic assistance program, and then continued it as an 18-month pilot with a discount of 12.5 percent. With the pilot period ending soon, BED is committed to moving from a pilot to a permanent rate for income-qualified customers that would continue to provide a 12.5 percent discount on BED energy and customer charges for residential, non-net-metered customers whose household income is less than or equal to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. To that end, BED received Burlington Electric Commission approval in December 2023 and will be seeking Board of Finance and City Council approval this month, as well as final approval from the Public Utility Commission (PUC).

BED is determined to take steps to grow EAP participation and has worked to publicize the EAP and expand enrollment of its eligible customers through a variety of outreach, including creation of an EAP flier available in seven languages and distributed at various BED community events and through other distribution channels.

As part of making the EAP program permanent, we are proposing a new automatic enrollment (with an opt out option) of eligible BED customers who are on the Vermont Department of Children and Families Seasonal Fuel Assistance list. This auto-enrollment may help hundreds more eligible customers receive the discounted rate. Further, BED has incorporated additional income verification options into the EAP proposed permanent rate, including helping customers verify eligibility through enrollment in 3SquaresVT or VGS Assistance Program.

Please visit burlingtonelectric.com/assistance or call 802.865.7300 to sign up for the EAP.

Go Electric and Save!

Together, our community wrapped up 2023 with many Burlingtonians benefitting from numerous electrification rebates that save you money and reduce fossil fuel usage. From electric vehicles to heat pumps to electric lawnmowers to electric bikes and more, our community members have taken significant steps along the path to Net Zero Energy. We are excited to inform you that we will continue our rebates at their current levels with the start of the new year and are working on potential changes to share this spring.

Let’s keep the momentum going by combining BED rebates with federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) incentives to provide significant financial assistance to help more customers – including low- and moderate-income Burlingtonians – switch from fossil fuels to electric technologies. The IRA Savings Calculator found at rewiringamerica.org will help determine the amount of federal electrification incentives for which you are eligible. Please visit burlingtonelectric.com/rebates to learn more.