Energy efficiency has been clearly shown to be Vermont’s least expensive future energy supply resource, and is every day a greater environmental imperative. BED is owned by all the citizens of Burlington who have unequivocally said "Efficiency First" for meeting the city's energy needs.
Burlington voters in 1990 approved a bond to fund energy efficiency programs that supported program activities through 2002. Since 2003, BED customers (like all other Vermont electric customers) pay a small monthly Energy Efficiency Charge (EEC) that supports efficiency programs. When these funding sources are considered along with customers’ direct costs, about $30 million has been invested in BED's energy efficiency efforts over the last 19 years. This includes about $13 million spent by BED and another $17 million in matching expenditures by our customers. The willingness of our customers to invest is a strong testament to the value that they place on these services.
The overall effect has been dramatic. Annual electricity consumption in 2009 was about 2 percent greater than in 1989. Thus, we have met the energy needs of a growing local economy over the last 19 years through efficiency! Energy efficiency investments save Burlington consumers more than $10.1 million of retail electric costs annually.
Energy efficiency expenditures are almost entirely local, typically in the form of professional services, skilled trades employment and equipment purchases. Not only is the value of the City’s building and energy-using equipment stock thus improved, but locally retained dollars are “multiplied” many times over by subsequent consumer spending. Absent these energy efficiency expenditures, considerably more dollars would have gone toward the purchase of electricity and enhanced infrastructure to satisfy the increased demands on the city’s electrical system. Most of these dollars would have been exported out of state, and many out of the country. Energy efficiency is a win-win situation for the city of Burlington through increased local economic activity, the avoidance of increasingly costly electricity and its associated infrastructure and environmental impacts.
Statewide energy efficiency programs are today operated by the non-profit service provider “Efficiency Vermont” (E-VT). BED staff delivers these programs within the City of Burlington, continuing to build on its past success in helping Burlington’s consumer-owners achieve energy efficient electric use.
BED and E-VT annually revise a very detailed coordination plan that seeks to maximize the benefits of synergism to both organizations, and ultimately to all of Vermont’s ratepayers. BED looks forward to continuing its successful partnership with E-VT, Vermont Gas Systems and the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity’s Weatherization Service. These partnerships are key to the constant improvement of energy efficiency program services that are delivered to Vermonters.