We  Are A Button Up Hero Community!

By. Zachariah Ralph

In many ways weatherization is like infrastructure, very important but not appealing because maintaining something old is not as attractive as building something new.  It may not be the “sexiest” option, but creating more efficient homes is extremely important. In Vermont we have a tradition, we green up in the spring and button-up in the Fall. Button Up Vermont reminds us that tightening up our homes for the winter is just the thing to do.

Paige Heverly (Photo by Rick Russell)

Many homes in Vermont are over 100 years old making us the second oldest housing stock in the country. Because of their age, many homes are inefficient, allowing for heat and air conditioning to literally go right out the window. Creating a more efficient home, or weatherizing your home, will save you money. Many weatherized homes will see at least 25% in energy savings.

Weatherizing an inefficient home will not only save you money, it also reduces your carbon footprint. Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan wants to see us reduce our carbon emissions; one of its goals is to have 80,000 homes reduce their energy usage by 25% by the year 2020. Unfortunately, we as a state are not weatherizing fast enough and we are far from meeting our current goals, which is another reason why we all need to think of ways of tightening up our homes.

Not everyone can afford to pay out of pocket for weatherization upgrades, but don’t let that stop you there are many great programs around Vermont to help incentivize weatherization Projects.

Home Performance with Energy Star

The Home Performance with Energy Star program, administered by Efficiency Vermont, “is an incentive-based program to improve insulation and air sealing, plus heating and ventilation systems, to ensure safety and health.” Participants can receive up to $2,000 towards their home air-sealing project. The program starts and ends with an energy audit and blower door test. Visit the Efficiency Vermont website to choose a professional energy contractor to come and conduct an audit of your home to determine what you can do to start saving money on your energy bills.

SEVCA

The Capstone Community Groups offer the Weatherization Assistance Program to income qualified renters and homeowners.  If you qualify they will come and complete upgrades on your home at no cost to you. Contact them immediately if you think you qualify as the waiting list can be long.

COVER Home Repair

COVER Home Repair helps make homes more airtight, saving home owners money on heating.  They are willing to work in some way with all home owners and renters (with permission from landlords). COVER uses a sliding scale based on income to determine product costs. COVER works with qualifying home owners and volunteers to supply the labor at no charge.”
Mobile Home Replacement Program
Efficiency Vermont’s Mobile Home Replacement program works to incentivize mobile home owners to replace their old inefficient homes with more efficient and sustainable options like Vermod Homes or Irene Cottages. Efficiency Vermont will pay up to $10,000 have your old mobile home replaced, and also to lay a foundation for the new mobile home. They will also work with homeowners to find financing options for a new mobile home.

Weatherization is not only about adding insulation.  For many homes, simple free or inexpensive conservation and air sealing measures are the most cost effective means of increasing comfort, reducing heat loss and saving money. Here are some quick tips;

  • Put plastic film over windows ·Replace worn weather-stripping ·Plug holes in exterior walls ·Insulate outlets ·Tune up your furnace ·Get a programmable thermostat

This year Sustainable Woodstock will be hosting a number of Button Up events over the next couple weeks as part of Efficiency Vermont’s Button Up Hero weatherization program. As a Button Up Hero community residents can receive a free walk-through assessment, scope of work, and cost estimate from a qualified contractor vetted by Efficiency Vermont.  Residents sign-up by completing a brief survey before December 15. Walk-throughs will be completed between November and March, and Efficiency Vermont will offer prizes for residents who commit to a home energy project by Earth Day in April 2019. In addition, we will will host engagement activities and hand out free energy efficiency kits!

We hope you can join us to learn ways to save money on your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint and to live more comfortably! Join us for the upcoming event.

Join us for discussion, workshops, FREE LED lightbulbs. These workshops are for Vermont homeowners to help them better understand the steps they can take to make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable in very clear language and simple steps. We encourage Vermonters across the state to take action by “Buttoning Up” their homes.

Contact Sustainable Woodstock for more information about these events. Zach@sustainablewoodstock.org, or 802-457-2911

Just do One thing: Attend a Button Up event!

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