Vermont

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Vermont Utility Expands Heat Pump Program

Consumers get a ductless minisplit heat pump with no down payment

Posted on Apr 26 2017 by Scott Gibson

Vermont's largest electric utility is beefing up its campaign to get ductless minisplit heat pumps into the homes of more people as it expands its no-money-down pitch to consumers in its entire service area.

Homeowners who sign up get a heat pump from one of three manufacturers and finance the cost of the installation over 15 years, making loan payments from $49 to $81 per month for a single-head heat pump. There is no down payment, and Green Mountain Power says that heating bills in this Climate Zone 6 state can be reduced by between 25% and 50%. Maintenance is included.


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Image Credits:

  1. Green Mountain Power

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Three Superinsulated Houses in Vermont

These three homes designed by Jean Terwilliger are all heated and cooled by ductless minisplits

Posted on Mar 3 2017 by Martin Holladay
prime

Efficiency Vermont, a nonprofit agency that provides financial incentives for energy-efficiency improvements by homeowners, builders, and businesses in Vermont, has developed a certification program for new homes called the High Performance Certification.


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Image Credits:

  1. All images (except Image #10 and #19) courtesy of Jean Terwilliger
  2. Image #10: Martin Holladay
  3. Image #19: 475 High Performance Building Supply

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Why a Vermont Utility Welcomes Solar

Green Mountain Power’s CEO sees a low-cost, low-carbon energy future that makes the most of distributed solar energy

Posted on Mar 7 2016 by Mary Powell

The world of energy is filled with new promise — promise for a cleaner, greener, more cost-effective distributed future. But, alas, in a world where for generations utilities have done the same thing in the same way, change is being hampered by our industry and is moving too slow.


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Image Credits:

  1. Stirling College / CC by SA / Flickr

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Vermont Utility Is the First to Offer Tesla Battery

Green Mountain Power wants to install 500 systems in 2016

Posted on Dec 21 2015 by Scott Gibson

Tesla's Powerwall battery will be installed in 500 Vermont homes next year, making Green Mountain Power the first utility in the country to offer a home battery option, SmartGrid News reports.

The 7 kilowatt-hour battery, the smaller of two Powerwall options introduced by Tesla earlier this year, will provide four to six hours of backup power.


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Image Credits:

  1. Tesla

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This Vermont Park Is Going Off-Grid

The state's largest electric utility selects the park for a solar and battery power system to ease maintenance and repair costs

Posted on Oct 30 2015 by Scott Gibson

A 908-acre park in southwestern Vermont will become the state's first park to run entirely on solar power.

Emerald Lake State Park, located in Dorset and not far from the New York State Line, has been plagued by an unreliable connection to the grid. Power lines are easily damaged by falling tree limbs, and repairs are difficult because of the rough terrain they have to cross.


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Image Credits:

  1. Matt Westgage via Flickr

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Net-Zero Homes Show Signs of Convergent Evolution

Double-stud walls insulated with cellulose, triple-glazed windows, and ductless minisplits

Posted on May 29 2015 by Martin Holladay
prime

A few weeks ago, my wife and I went on a short hike with our college-age son. As the three of us drove to the trailhead in Norwich, Vermont, we passed a construction site. “Looks like a zero-energy house,” I observed. The sign out front read, “Prudent Living Homes.” I decided to get more information on the house and return later to try to talk with the builder.

I called up Prudent Living Homes, and the owner of the company, Paul Biebel, agreed to meet me at the site. When I showed up a few days later, two carpenters, Gary Castellini and Maynard White, were working on exterior details.


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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1 and photos embedded in the article are by Martin Holladay
  2. Images #2, #3, #4, #5, and #6: Prudent Living Homes

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Vermont Legislators OK a Big Push for Renewables

The legislation will require 55% of utility sales to come from renewable energy sources by 2017, rising to 75% by 2032

Posted on May 22 2015 by Scott Gibson

Lawmakers in Vermont are backing legislation that would require more than half of all utility sales to come from renewable sources by 2017.

The Senate approved a bill that requires utilities to provide renewable electricity to customers and to come up with programs to help customers reduce their use of fossil fuels, The Burlington Free Press reported.


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Image Credits:

  1. Dennis Schroeder / NREL

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Vermont Utility to Develop New Grid Technology

Green Mountain Power has formed an alliance with NRG Energy to build micro-grids that will take the state ‘beyond the legacy grid system’

Posted on Sep 11 2014 by Scott Gibson

The largest electric utility in Vermont has announced its intent to offer a variety of new products and services to its customers and develop a network of micro-grids through the state that offer more reliable service than the existing "legacy grid system."

Beginning in the city of Rutland next year, Green Mountain Power said it would partner with NRG Energy to develop an advanced distribution grid that could serve as a model for expansion to other parts of the state later. The utility has some 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont.


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Image Credits:

  1. Green Mountain Power

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Vermont Utility Seeks a New Solar Fee

The Washington Electric Co-op says the new fees for photovoltaic systems would cover fixed costs that otherwise are passed to other customers

Posted on Jul 8 2014 by Scott Gibson

UPDATED July 11, 2014

An electric co-op in Vermont has joined the ranks of utilities around the country seeking regulatory approval to add fees for their customers who have rooftop photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) installations.

Washington Electric Co-op wants to make changes to its net-metering program that would include a grid service fee of 4.63 cents per kilowatt hour for new net-metered customers. The co-op which serves about 10,500 residential and business customers in a three-county region in north-central Vermont.


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Image Credits:

  1. Jack Hanoka / National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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A House For Slow Living

Is it possible to marry the romantic associations of an old-fashioned farmhouse with a high-performance building envelope?

Posted on Jul 1 2014 by Robert Swinburne

The original concept for the house I am working on came to me in a dream (yes – I dream architecturally). I think the dream may have been generated by the image on the right, which has been on my bulletin board for a few years.

My original sketch was called “a house for food.”


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Image Credits:

  1. Images 2, 3, 4, and 5: Robert Swinburne

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