Burlington, Vt. – The Burlington Electric Department (BED) and Vermont Gas Systems announced today that their popular Energy Champ Challenge efficiency program, aimed at increasing energy efficiency in some of Burlington’s biggest residential rental units, has reached its increased goal of scheduling 100 energy audits.
BED and Vermont Gas partnered to roll out the Energy Champ Challenge last June with the ambitious, preliminary goal of scheduling 50 audits by the end of 2015, and with the ultimate goal of encouraging 50 rental landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings by the end of 2016. Just a few months later, the companies announced that they had increased that goal to 100 scheduled energy audits, after easily surpassing the 50 scheduled audits goal.
The program, so far, has exceeded expectations by completing 108 audits. In addition, 14 buildings have taken the next step and installed recommended efficiency upgrades. Several other building upgrades are also in progress.
“This has been a really fun challenge to participate in. We are enjoying the excitement that the Energy Champ Challenge has generated from the start,” said Don Rendall, President and CEO of Vermont Gas. “The 75% financial incentive for thermal efficiency upgrades has been a huge help for many of the Burlington landlords who previously were not prepared to invest significantly in energy efficiency. We appreciate the partnership we share with BED to help our customers use less energy and lower their monthly utility bills.”
Vermont Gas covers 75% of all recommended weatherization upgrades, saving building owners thousands – and in some cases tens of thousands – of dollars in upfront improvement costs. Buildings can realize a 20-30% reduction in energy consumption almost immediately after making improvements. In addition to upfront savings for property owners, these upgrades increase building values and lower utility costs for both owners and tenants. BED provides all Energy Champ owners and renters with electric efficiency toolkits, including LED light bulbs and advanced power strips, to further reduce energy consumption.
“We applaud our Burlington landlords who are setting the standard for energy efficiency gains by embracing the Energy Champ Challenge,” said Neale Lunderville, General Manager of BED. “And those gains mean lower bills for our customers, increased property values for building owners, and reduced energy usage. Burlington Electric appreciates its strong partnership with Vermont Gas and will continue to lead through energy innovation.”
Rob Hintze, a Burlington landlord, owns six properties in Burlington and currently is participating in the Energy Champ Challenge with one of his multi-residential units.
“I have always invested heavily back into my properties, so participating in the Energy Champ Challenge was a no brainer,” said Hintze. “It’s been great to work with the efficiency teams at Vermont Gas and Burlington Electric on my South Winooski Avenue apartment building. I look forward to making efficiency upgrades in more of my buildings in the coming months and years.”
To learn more about the Energy Champ Challenge and find out how you can become an Energy Champ, visit www.energychamp.org or call 802.863.4511.
About Vermont Gas
Vermont Gas Systems is a leader in energy efficiency and innovation, offering a clean, safe, affordable choice for over 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.
About Burlington Electric Department
Burlington Electric Department (BED) has been serving its customers with safe and reliable power since 1905. BED is a recognized national leader in green energy with the recent milestone achievement of sourcing 100% of its power from renewable generation. With a focus on low and stable rates, and a commitment to energy efficiency, BED’s 20,000 customers use less power today than they did in 1989.
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