BRATTLEBORO -- Home Energy Advocates’ mission is managing major energy projects for homes, rental properties and businesses.
It was founded by Tad Montgomery, an ecological engineer who has worked with building energy modeling, conservation and renewable energy since 1981.
"Many people are alarmed by the ever rising cost of energy," said Montgomery. "They would like to tighten up their home, add solar or a heat pump, or maybe install a pellet boiler in their business, but they don’t know where to start or who to trust. Home Energy Advocates acts as an independent consultant for these people -- we are not contractors or salesmen but rather work directly and exclusively for our clients."
A big part of Home Energy Advocates’ mission is education, he said.
"We explain the process from start to finish, including how energy moves through a building, which contractors are good at installing furnaces or insulation, the incentives and rebates that are available, cost/benefit analysis of each measure, health and safety issues, and how to undertake a bidding process for a major installation."
Home Energy Advocates also helps homeowners identify state incentives that can lessen the cost of a project. Efficiency Vermont has just announced a seasonal promotion of an additional $500 incentive to homeowners and businesses participating in its Home and Building Performance programs for projects that are completed by August 31.
The average Vermont homeowner can easily cut their energy bills by 20 to 30 percent, said Montgomery, through a simple home efficiency project, with an average savings of $1,000 every year, and can do much more with a concerted effort.
"Brattleboro loses roughly $20 to $24 million every year in single-family home heating bills that literally go up the chimney or through the roof," said Montgomery. "That’s the same amount of money as the entire police and fire station renovation project."