DUMMERSTON -- Town residents apparently are committed to energy efficiency.
That’s the message from Efficiency Vermont, the Burlington-based organization that recently honored the town for "achieving the highest percentage of residents in your region committing to improving efficiency in their homes."
Dummerston was recognized March 28 during a ceremony in Montpelier, and the achievement also carried a financial benefit.
"As a result of this award, Dummerston will receive a $500 grant from Efficiency Vermont to be applied toward community energy educational activity," Jerelyn Wilson, Dummerston Energy Committee chairwoman, wrote in an e-mail to the Reformer.
Efficiency Vermont claims the state’s efforts to conserve energy are paying off in a big way: Last year, the actions of 2,500 businesses and 37,800 residents led to 88,000 megawatt hours of electric savings, the organization says.
That’s enough to power every home in Caledonia County for almost 11 months. And the group says the net economic benefits of Efficiency Vermont’s work in 2013 add up to $62 million.
At the beginning of last year, Efficiency Vermont -- along with Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network and other organizations -- kicked off an effort to "increase the number of homes completing comprehensive energy efficiency improvements in Vermont."
It was called the Vermont Home Energy Challenge, and part of the program consisted of pushing for weatherization projects to be completed throughout the state with the help of town energy committees and other local groups.
The challenge was spread over six regions. In Windham County, Putney had the highest percentage of weatherization projects completed toward its goal, reporting seven such jobs.
The other part of the challenge consisted of encouraging residents statewide to submit "pledge cards" -- written promises to take steps to improve energy-efficiency in their homes.
Dummerston had the highest return rate in the region, with 45 cards submitted. That was nearly four times as many pledges as the next town listed in the region, Guilford.
Dummerston Energy Committee has been working on a survey that would give a detailed picture of town residents’ energy usage and the town’s resilience in the event of a prolonged, widespread power outage.
Wilson said that, "as busy as the energy committee was at the beginning of 2013, we knew it would be a missed opportunity not to participate in the Vermont Home Energy Challenge."
"So we teamed up with Transition Dummerston, and it was really the efforts of Dummerston resident Catie Berg that kept us on track," Wilson said. "She and I were the liaisons from each group for this project, and we were very pleased with this award."
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.