a review of
Heating Efficiency Success Stories
Prepared by the Vermont Natural Resources Council – Twenty pages – free
By George Harvey
As many readers of Green Energy Times are aware, the old saw, “You get what you pay for,” is not always true. Sometimes you pay nothing and get something very valuable. Such is the case of VNRC’s pamphlet, Heating Efficiency Success Stories. A download can be obtained for free at www.bit.ly/VNRC_success_stories.
This pamphlet is exactly what it claims to be, a set of case studies for different Vermont buildings that were given successful heating efficiency makeovers. It starts by stating some very impressive general facts, such as this:
“Vermont currently exports almost $1 billion out of our economy annually to pay for energy. A real commitment to heating efficiency as well as helping Vermonters switch to renewable heat will keep our dollars local and grow thousands of new jobs.”
It then moves to a set of very brief descriptions of example cases, one on each page, from page 3 to page 15. Clearly, they were carefully chosen for the lessons they illustrate. On each page, there is a description of a real set of problems with real buildings that were inefficiently heated in some way. On each page there is a description of the actions taken, and the success of those actions in terms of money saved.
Each case study explains what resources homeowners or communities were able to bring to bear, getting help with projects. Each also has a list of tips it exemplifies, all of which could be of great value to many people. A few examples of these that could be used to illustrate their value are as follows:
“Regional planning commissions can be excellent sources of funding and guidance in exploring opportunities for financing.”
“Get the most out of your audit by having it done while it’s cold outside. It will provide better information about how your home might be losing heat.”
“Efficiency Vermont’s DIY program can help save money on the labor costs of home improvements—if you’re willing to do the work.”
“Working with a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR certified contractor qualifies homeowners for ENERGY STAR incentives. The average incentive for homeowners in 2012 was $2,000.”
“If you can’t afford all of the improvements at once, consult with your certified HPwES contractor to obtain advice on making the most strategic, cost-effective improvements first.”
The last page of the pamphlet includes a complete list of all the resources mentioned in the text, with all necessary contact information.
This is valuable, and it is free. Every homeowner whose energy bill is too high should GET it.