Green Mountain Power, Efficiency Vermont and NeighborWorks of
Western Vermont announced Friday, Dec. 7 that the three
organizations have entered into an agreement that will help to
drive the research and development of electrical and thermal energy
efficiency programs for Vermonters as well as support the ongoing
study and implementation of smart grid technology, renewable energy
sources and new vehicular energy options.
"This partnership creates a great opportunity for developing new
renewable energy and efficiency strategies and projects, which
aligns very well with the state's long-term renewable energy supply
goals," said Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.
Under the agreement, GMP, Efficiency Vermont and the NeighborWorks
HEAT Squad will work together in an effort to develop innovative
programs focused on energy efficiency, customer service options,
smart grid technology and renewable energy, among other
"We're all very excited to begin collaborating and leveraging
our shared resources as we work to help Vermonters achieve greater
electrical and thermal energy efficiency," said GMP President and
CEO Mary Powell.
NeighborWorks is a not for profit housing organization that
provides home buying, home improvement and maintenance guidance
since 1986. In recent years, NeighborWorks has provided
customer services and access to financing options for thermal
efficiency improvements to Vermont residents through its program
known as the HEAT Squad with funds provided by the Department of
Energy's BetterBuildings program and support from Efficiency
NeighborWorks Executive Director Ludy Biddle said the joint
venture will directly benefit Vermont residents by helping them to
understand and take advantage of a variety of current energy
"Forming this partnership will allow each organization to bring
its own unique set of skills and experiences to the table and
facilitate strong teamwork on programs, offerings and education for
Vermonters that will help them to save money," said NeighborWorks
Executive Director Ludy Biddle.
Efficiency Vermont (www.efficiencyvermont.com), created in 2000,
is the nation's first statewide "energy efficiency utility," and
provides comprehensive energy efficiency services to business and
residential customers throughout Vermont. It was created by the
Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help
all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and
protect Vermont's environment.
Efficiency Vermont Director Jim Merriam said the partnership is
an innovative approach that will create a working laboratory for
finding solutions to energy issues for Vermonters.
"The opportunity for our three organizations to work together on
a daily basis to develop innovative programs and services is
unique," Merriam said. "Vermont has proven through successful
collaborations in areas such as our statewide approach to smart
grid that we know how to create tangible, positive results for
Vermonters through these partnerships."
Each organization has also agreed to co-locate staff at GMP's
new Energy Innovation Center in Rutland in order to allow for
optimal communication and collaboration.
"Having employees from all three organizations together in a
single setting, focused on a common goal of meeting customers'
dynamic energy needs creates the ultimate environment for making
progress," said Steve Costello, GMP's vice president for generation
and energy innovation. "We think this partnership will really
bolster all of the EIC's core focuses and benefit Vermonters for
many years to come."
The three organizations will focus heavily on public education
efforts surrounding energy use and efficiency strategies.
"One of the initial goals of this endeavor is to conduct a
door-to-door outreach effort to widely promote the existing
electric and thermal efficiency programs currently offered by
Efficiency Vermont and the NeighborWorks HEAT Squad," Costello
said. "The pilot program will start in Rutland City and hopefully
serve as a model to be used across the state in the future.
This is just one example of the various educational initiatives
that we'll be working on together that we believe will help
customers to get the most out of their electrical usage."