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Interview: Efficiency Vermont’s Efficiency Excellence Network Program Manager

Allison Fode, Efficiency Vermont

Green Energy Times Staff

Efficiency Vermont has a program that anyone looking for serious work on a building should know about. It is the Efficiency Exellence Network (EEN) program. Professionals associated with it are required to keep updated on the latest technology in their fields. Its manager, Allison Fode, answered some questions for us.

What is an “Efficiency Excellence Network” contractor?

Efficiency Excellence Network members are a network of independent contractors, designers, and other professionals committed to providing their customers the highest level of energy efficiency services. These professionals can perform heating and cooling, electrical, new construction, insulation and air sealing, and commercial refrigeration work. We also have architects, engineers, and lighting designers who can help you rethink your living and working spaces.

Why use an EEN contractor over another contractor?

Our members are experts in the advanced technologies and science that makes buildings more energy efficient and affordable to maintain. They are also trained to understand and consider important health and safety measures that are key to any job. We train them in energy efficiency fundamentals and specialties, so you can trust that they are skilled in making energy efficient improvements cost-effectively within their specialties.

What does an EEN contractor offer customers that others don’t or can’t?

Many of our members have special access to exclusive Efficiency Vermont incentives and low or no interest financing on your projects. They are plugged in to our programs and offers and can guide you to the right solutions and rebates. They also have access to exclusive support from Efficiency Vermont – at any step in a project, a member can reach out and get support from us to assure project success.

How do I know if my contractor is EEN? Where can I find an EEN contractor?

The easiest way is to visit our website, www.efficiencyvermont.com/contractor. We have a special tool called “Find a Contractor or Retailer” where you can search for an energy professional. Just look for the “EEN Member” icon in your search results! If you’re still not sure or don’t have access to the internet, give us a call at (888) 921-5990. Our Customer Support team can help you out.

What are some questions you recommend presenting to a contractor to meet energy efficiency goals?

  • How many projects have you completed? How many do you do per year?

  • What are some of the results of your projects?

  • Do you use subcontractors? If so, are they trained in energy efficiency?

  • When could my project fit into your schedule?

  • Do you have experience with Efficiency Vermont and securing rebates for customers? (Hint: An Efficiency Excellence Network professional does!)

  • Do you have insurance that covers the type of work you are performing?

  • Can you provide a certificate of insurance listing me on it?

You should also check references when you narrow down your list to a couple of professionals – this will give you confidence to make a final decision. Here are a few questions we recommend asking a professional’s previous customers:

  • Were you satisfied with the contractor’s work?

  • Are you as happy with the results today as you were when the project was completed?

  • Were there cost or schedule overages? If so, why – and how did the contractor handle the situation?

  • You can also check in with Vermont’s Better Business Bureau. You’ll be able to find out whether a contractor has a history of disputes with clients or subcontractors.

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