WASHINGTON, August 26 – Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today announced $5.7 million in federal funding to help Vermont households utilize “smart meter” systems and install solar thermal and solar hot water technologies.
The non-profit Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, which operates Efficiency Vermont, will administer a $700,000 project to complement smart grid technology being deployed across the state due to an earlier $69 million stimulus investment. This outreach project will install energy use monitors and provide information and access to technical support to help approximately 750 low-income households better understand their energy use and identify savings opportunities.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program has awarded $5 million in federal stimulus funding for solar thermal and solar hot water technologies through local agencies in Barre, Burlington, Derby, Hinesburg, Rutland, St. Johnsbury, and Westminster.
Leahy said, “Vermont is a national leader in using the Weatherization Program’s stimulus funds for cost and energy savings for low-income households. It’s encouraging that so many local agencies have come together to ensure that these investments are made in our state. With our older housing stock and longer winters, these investments are likely to save Vermont families far more than the national average of $400 a year in reduced energy costs.”
Sanders said, “There is little doubt in my mind that in the years to come the energy mix in this state will be very different than it is today – with a far greater reliance on energy efficiency and sustainable energy. This federal support will be a major step forward in moving our state toward a greener economy.”
Welch, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and author of the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, said, “For years, Vermont has led the way in showing the nation that investing in energy efficiency creates jobs, saves homeowners money and reduces harmful carbon emissions. This additional $5.7 million award recognizes Vermont’s past successes, while paving the way for future savings.”