Vital Communities Partners with 14 Vermont Towns to Launch Weatherize Upper Valley
Vital Communities and volunteers in 14 Vermont towns will launch a new Weatherize Upper Valley initiative later this month to encourage more homeowners to invest in energy efficiency projects. Hartland, Hartford, Norwich, Thetford, Sharon, Royalton, Bethel, Randolph, Braintree, Brookfield, Windsor, Reading, Cavendish, and Weathersfield are participating in the pilot program this January through May.
The 14 towns—organized into four unique Weatherize campaigns—will host public kick-off events later this month (details below). Interested residents are encouraged to attend to learn more about home energy efficiency and the Weatherize process, meet their community’s certified weatherization contractors, and talk with neighbors who have completed home energy efficiency projects.
Weatherize Upper Valley teams up community volunteers with certified weatherization contractors to provide FREE professional home energy assessments, proposals, and quotes. Homeowners who sign weatherization contracts by May 31 will be entered into drawings for prizes ranging up to $2,500 toward energy improvements.
“It can typically cost homeowners $400 or more just to get a project proposal and quote. Providing free home assessments is a significant way to help more homeowners explore the idea of energy improvements,” said Sarah Brock, energy program manager at Vital Communities, who worked with a variety of stakeholders to develop the Weatherize Upper Valley concept.
“Energy efficiency projects—focused on air sealing and insulation—are the best kept secret in home improvement; the average cost for these projects in our region is $7,800, resulting in average energy savings of 26% annually. With generous rebates in both Vermont and New Hampshire, plus the benefit of increased comfort, it’s an easy decision for many homeowners to make if we can just help them take the first step. Weatherize Upper Valley does that, with a goal of doubling the number of home energy projects completed in the Upper Valley each year.”
Upcoming Weatherize Upper Valley kick-off events include:
White River Team Weatherize Kick-Off
For residents in Bethel, Royalton, and Sharon
Tuesday, January 17, 6-7:30 p.m.
FREE childcare, and prizes
Connecticut River Team Weatherize Kick-Off
For residents in Hartland, Hartford, Norwich, and Thetford
Wednesday, January 18, 6-8 p.m. (presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Montshire Museum of Science Porter Community Room
Randolph Team Weatherize Kick-Off
For residents in Randolph, Brookfield, and Braintree
Saturday, January 21, 10-11:30 a.m.
Chandler Music Hall
Ascutney Team Weatherize Kick-Off
For residents in Cavendish, Reading, Weathersfield, and Windsor
Saturday, January 28, 10-11:30 a.m.
The Weathersfield School
Residents in participating towns don’t have to wait until the kick-off event to get started. More information and instructions for participation can be found at VitalCommunities.org/Weatherize.
Weatherize Upper Valley is made possible with funding from Efficiency Vermont, Catamount Solar, the Dead River Company, JAM Fuels, Canaday Family Foundation, Harris and Francis Block Foundation, and Jane’s Trust Foundation. Participating weatherization contractors include 5 Star Energy Tech LLC, Building Energy, Montpelier Construction, Peachtree Builders, Solsaa Building and Energy Solutions, Van de Ven Construction, and Vermont Foam Insulation.
If this initial pilot phase of Weatherize Upper Valley is a success, Vital Communities will bring the program to New Hampshire and additional Vermont communities in 2018.