MONTPELIER – February 18, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Gov. Peter Shumlin and Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia today announced that the state would invest $670,000 to leverage up to $6.5 million in funds to expand thermal efficiency in Vermont homes and clean heating technologies.
This funding builds on last year’s $10 million commercial energy efficiency loan program through the Vermont Economic Development Authority, and a $6.5 million residential efficiency finance program developed with Treasurer Beth Pearce. In addition, Vermont’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the ISO-New England forward capacity market bring in millions of dollars every year to support thermal efficiency programs.
“Investments in energy efficiency save Vermont families money on their fuel bills, but also support local jobs, strengthen the economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Everybody wins with this investment.”
“Even though energy efficiency and renewable energy investments save money over time, getting over the upfront costs can be a barrier for many Vermonters,” said George Twigg of Efficiency Vermont. “The initiative announced today will provide a new way for Vermonters to overcome that barrier and make an investment that will save them money and help the environment.”
“Vermont’s heating fuel dealers have a longstanding relationship with their customers and can help identify opportunities to save,” said Matt Cota, Executive Director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association. “Many of these companies are diversifying to become whole home energy providers, delivering both heating fuel and efficiency services to their customers.”
The Public Service Department, the Clean Energy Development Fund, and the Vermont Low Income Trust for Electricity (VLITE) have joined together to make the $670,000 available to leverage up to $6.5 million in private sector financing for this initiative. The Department will shortly issue a Request for Proposals for interested banks and credit unions. The funding will provide a loan loss reserve, credit enhancement for customers, and other tools to increase access to financing.
It is expected that with an average home loan of $5,000 (after applicable rebates and incentives are included), up to 1,300 homes could be served through this program.
“Thermal Efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways Vermonters can reduce their energy bills, yet it is often the most difficult for an individual homeowner to do,” said Commissioner Recchia. “The program the Governor is announcing today builds on the creativity of several of Vermont fuel dealers and provides financing support through a public/private partnership, to help overcome the up-front capital hurdle that so often keeps this work from getting done.”
“Through this effort, I hope we can prove that helping Vermonters save on their fuel bills is also good for fuel dealers who want to diversify their business and better serve their customers,” the Governor said.