Energy audits can save you money
Editor of the Reformer:
As a member of the Brattleboro Energy Committee, I’m writing to inform readers about and promote the Vermont Home Energy Challenge and to encourage all homeowners to have an energy audit on your home, before the end of 2013.
I know, from my own experience, that it’s easy to put this sort of work on the back burner. Perhaps you don’t feel you have the money for a weatherization project. Or maybe you’ve been intending to have an audit but haven’t gotten around to it. In my case, meeting monthly with the Energy Committee and hearing about energy efficiency at every meeting, finally gave me the nudge I needed. I had an energy audit performed by a certified Home Performance with Energy Star contractor in the fall of 2012. Then, as recommended, we had our basement and windows insulated and air sealed. We use a wood stove for heat, with oil back up. Our consumption of wood and oil last winter was reduced from previous years and our house was noticeably more comfortable, warm and cozy. We still need to insulate the attic area around the chimney and switch our water heating system from the furnace to a hybrid water heater, to complete the audit recommendations. We spent $2,560 and received a $775 incentive back from Efficiency Vermont, as well as a federal tax rebate of $256, bringing our costs down to $1031. Home weatherization projects save the average homeowner $760/year on heating and electric costs. Efficiency Vermont offers incentives up to$2100 per project. The federal tax credit is up to $500. Once you realize that incentives offset some of the cost and that the money you spend on improvements will be paid back in savings that continue year after year, it makes total sense to have the audit and recommended work done. And not only will you be saving money on energy bills, your effort will support local jobs, reduce your carbon footprint, and for some, reduce your dependence on foreign oil.
Because of the Home Energy Challenge, the energy audit price in 2013 is $250 instead of $400. At this point, it may be difficult to get a weatherization project completed by the end of the year because contractors are busy, but they are still available for audits. The efficiency work can be completed in 2014.
More information, such as a list of certified energy auditors, by calling 1-888-921-5990 or visiting
www.efficiencyvermont.com/homeenergychallenge. My hope is that you will give this issue your thoughtful consideration and schedule your energy audit today. You can’t afford not to.
Brattleboro, Oct. 18 Bush v. Obama
Editor of the Reformer:
Talking to a friend this morning I was struck with the juxtaposition in my mind of how some people talk about the fact that President Obama is not a strong leader versus what comes up in recent memory of our last president, George W. Bush. Personally, I think it takes an enormous amount of guts to take on health care reform in the current snake pit environment of our legislative houses. Then I think of President Bush posturing on the deck of aircraft carriers bragging how we whipped the Iraqis. We massacred the Iraqis with our superior weapons, literally, and massacred our economy with his wild drunken punch, John Wayne’s last hurrah (hopefully). It takes a real man to negotiate "power with," not a false man to primp the same old "power over."
T. Breeze Verdant,
Brattleboro, Oct. 18