Oct. 3, 2019 –Barre, VT – A coalition of weatherization advocates gathered at the Aldrich Public Library in Barre today to publicly launch this year’s Button Up Vermont campaign, urging Vermonters to take steps to prepare their homes for winter to save money, increase comfort, and cut carbon.

“This year’s campaign is especially important, and especially timely. The example set two weeks ago by the many young people who participated in the Climate Strike was inspiring, and it underscored for all of us the urgency of climate change,” said Efficiency Vermont Director Rebecca Foster. “The energy we use to heat our homes and buildings is the second largest source of carbon emissions in Vermont, making weatherization one of the most impactful carbon-cutting actions we can take as individuals, while also reducing our energy bills and increasing comfort.”

Vermonters have more incentive this year than ever before to invest in a comprehensive weatherization project with a qualified contractor. Moderate income households – approximately 60 percent of all Vermont families – are eligible for rebates for 50 percent of their projects costs up to $4,000. Higher-income households can receive rebates up to $2,000. In addition, no- and low-interest loans are available based on household income through the Heat Saver Loan program. Numerous other incentives are available to help Vermonters button up their homes.

“Through our efficiency programs and first-in-the-nation renewable natural gas program, VGS is committed to giving our customers the tools they need today to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Vermont Gas Systems (VGS) Energy Efficiency Manager Lauren Grimley. “We are proud to partner with Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric Department to provide additional funding to help even more Vermonters button up their homes and reduce their energy usage.”

In addition to cutting carbon, weatherization is also an important strategy for helping lower-income households reduce their energy burden – or percentage of income spent on electricity, heating, and transportation.

“Barre City has one of the highest average energy burdens in Vermont, forcing many families to make difficult choices about their family’s comfort and wellbeing during the heating season,” said Capstone Community Action Weatherization Director Paul Zabriskie. “Low-income weatherization services available through Capstone and Vermont’s other regional Weatherization Assistance Programs are a critical strategy to help families cope with heating costs and make their homes more resilient to the effects of climate change.”

Vermonters living in one of 52 participating Button Up Vermont partners communities will be able to take advantage of additional resources this year, including weatherization workshops, home energy tours, and free Efficiency Vermont-led home energy visits available on a first-come, first-serve basis for community members who participate in their local Button Up Vermont events.

“Town Energy Committees are the ‘boots on the ground’ for helping encourage our neighbors to take steps to reduce energy use and cut their carbon emissions,” said Conor Teal, member of the Barre City Energy Committee. “We’re excited to join our fellow energy committees from around the state to raise awareness and drive action – and break a new record this year for total number of participating communities.”

“The City of Barre is honored to be one of 50-plus communities participating in this year’s Button Up Vermont weatherization campaign,” said Barre City Mayor Lucas Herring. “As we start preparing homes for winter, we are all looking for ways to lower energy bills and keep our homes warm. This launch event at the Aldrich Library is a great way to receive information about the resources currently available and how ‘buttoning up’ can save on heating bills, but can also reduce our carbon footprint.” 

About Button Up Vermont 2019

Button Up Vermont 2019 is a community-based, public outreach campaign, designed to help Vermonters take action and reach our statewide goal of 25% energy savings in 80,000 homes by the year 2020. Button up Vermont Partners include: BROC WeatherizationBuilding EnergyBurlington ElectricCapstone Community ActionChamplain Valley Weatherization ServiceEfficiency VermontEnergy Action Network,  Energy Coop of VermontFront Porch ForumGreen Mountain PowerMontpelier ConstructionNeighborWorks of Western VermontNETO WeatherizationSEVCA WeatherizationSouth Burlington Energy Committee, Stowe Electric, SunCommon, Vermont Electric CooperativeVermont Energy & Climate Action Network,  VEEP! (Vermont Energy Education Program)Vermont Gas SystemsVermont Public Power Supply AuthorityVital CommunitiesWashington Electric Cooperative.