Efficiency Vermont to host forum

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BRATTLEBORO — When people think about their local electric utility, their first thoughts are likely of poles and wires, and the electric meter on the side of their house. We think of them as energy producers: regulated businesses that provide us with reliable electricity - an enormous, complex, and critical task. For the past 17 years, however, Vermont has had a different kind of energy producer, one that doesn't generate power at all. It saves it.

Efficiency Vermont was the nation's first statewide energy efficiency utility. It became a regulated utility, just like the utilities that bring power to your home, in 2000. Energy efficiency is as integral to the delivery of power to Vermonters as poles and wires. Instead of line workers it deploys Energy Consultants to work with businesses and residents, retailers, vendors, manufacturers and installers to deliver energy savings. Its job is to take power off the grid, and pass the savings and benefits from that reduction on to Vermont ratepayers. Those savings are significant: without energy efficiency programs, ratepayers in our state would be paying about five percent more for electricity than we do today. Since 2000 Efficiency Vermont has helped its customers save more than $2.4 billion over the lifetime of the efficiency improvements made.

On Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m., representatives from Efficiency Vermont will be at the American Legion Hall at 32 Linden St. to hear from the public and answer questions. Free food will be provided.

Efficiency Vermont's original mission — to achieve all cost-effective efficiency by reducing electricity consumption — has evolved as new technologies and products are developed and as Efficiency Vermont's achievements have helped Vermont progress towards achieving some of our state's energy goals. Today, the most cost-effective efficiency may be achieved by increasing, not reducing, electricity consumption by moving from fossil fuels like propane, to heat pumps that rely on electricity. Sometimes the cleanest and cheapest energy solution is to electrify appliances and systems. Through strategic, beneficial and efficient electrification of processes and activities we can help increase the efficiency of our electric grid, which presently is less than 50 percent efficient. As Vermont adapts to a changing energy eco-system and innovation, Efficiency Vermont is adapting along with it.

During the series of community forums around the state, representatives from Efficiency Vermont will be sharing its vision for its next three-year plan, which is currently under development, and talking about how Vermonters and their businesses can take advantage of Efficiency Vermont's services and partnerships.

Representatives will also be listening to answers about: How can Efficiency Vermont support the state's renewable energy goals and comprehensive energy plan? What is the future of efficiency efforts in Vermont in light of changes at the national level? How can it ensure that all Vermonters - regardless of background, location and income — are benefitting from everything that Efficiency Vermont has to offer? How can Efficiency Vermont's programs be better integrated into existing state programs -— from human services, to housing and the environment?

Visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/about/community-forums for full event details and to RSVP.

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