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Vermont Faces Up to Energy Challenges

Two apprentice weatherization technicians with Fresh Energy squeezed orange insulating foam into cracks between boards and spaces around wires in the attic of unit 421 at Northgate Apartments in Burlington on Wednesday. The foam forms a barrier that prevents warm air from leaking from the lower-level living space. Air sealing is one of three steps the owners of the 336-unit affordable housing complex have undertaken this year to enhance energy efficiency and shrink heating bills for residents. By winter, families in 60 units will have beefed up insulation in their attics and basements, air-tight rooms and new high efficiency boilers. These changes are expected to save residents at least 25 percent on their heating bills, said Kathleen Tyrrell Luce, vice president of Maloney Properties Inc., which manages the apartment complex. “We intend to set Vermont on a path to attain 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources by mid-century.” Currently, only 23 percent of the energy Vermonters use for electricity, for heat and for transportation comes from renewable sources. The broad strategies to achieve the goal would include:

  1. – Enhanced efficiency.

  2. – Greater use of clean, renewable energy sources for electricity, heating and transportation.

  3. – Electric vehicle adoption.

  4. – Use of natural gas and biofuel blends where nonrenewable fuels remain necessary.

Public Comments: Vermonters have opportunities in the coming weeks to comment on this challenge to give up fossil fuels and the strategies proposed to achieve it. Several hearings have already been held and two more are scheduled next week. The Department of Public Service also will accept comments by email, mail and online through Oct. 10. Full Burlington Free Press Article or Click Here for PDF of Article

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