TOWN ENERGY REPORT 2014-2015
Last spring the Weathersfield Energy Group was selected by Vital Communities (a non-profit organization in White River Junction) to participate in a “Solarize the Upper Valley” program. Weathersfield joined energy teams from Brownsville, Cavendish, Reading and Windsor to launch “Solar Makes $en$e” promoting solar PV installations, at favorable rates, for homeowners in our respective towns.
Many homeowners independently installed systems on their own to take advantage of the Federal tax rebate incentives for solar PV and other energy-saving systems.
Cold weather climate heat pumps have been the popular choice for many homeowners who have realized savings using them as air conditioners and in some cases more than halved their costs for winter fuel oil and propane. Green Mountain Power offers a lease program for these pumps.
Weatherization is still the first step in reducing energy consumption.
The State has many incentives and rebate programs to help lower energy costs — contact Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or www.efficiencyvermont.com.
In 2016 the Energy Group is considering a Community Solar Program (for 22 homeowners/small businesses). Our abutting energy team towns are reviewing the Award winning “Boardman” template used by Mt. Holly in conjunction with the Vermont Law School. Homeowners can save more money buying into their own locally-based Community Solar system. We will retain the “Renewable Energy Credits” instead of allowing outside marketers to sell them to out-of-state polluters.
Homeowners are still encouraged to weatherize, reduce electricity usage and ‘do the homework’ before committing to purchase a PV solar system. Contact neighbors, ask pertinent questions about their installations, review suggested locations for designs and panels, think local when considering a solar contractor — and, not least carefully read the contract!
Looking to the future the very small but enthusiastic and experienced Energy Group believes that Long Range Energy Planning should include all municipal departments, homeowners and businesses. Input from everyone is part of any energy efficiency and sustainability program. We are planning a series of meetings to give homeowners and taxpayers the opportunity to share ideas.
Information can be found on the Energy website hosted at: weathersfieldproctorlibrary.