To learn more about how Efficiency Vermont works, our oversight, and to read our reports and plans, please choose from the following:
How Efficiency Vermont Works
Efficiency Vermont is the nation's first statewide energy efficiency utility. Efficiency Vermont provides technical assistance and financial incentives to help Vermont households and businesses reduce their energy use and costs with energy-efficient buildings, equipment, and lighting. Efficiency Vermont also provides energy-efficient approaches to construction and renovation.
We are operated by a private nonprofit company, the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, under an appointment issued by the Vermont Public Service Board.
How we help Vermonters save money and energy
Efficiency Vermont helps business operators, homeowners, and renters learn how to reduce energy use and to find the services, financial assistance, and equipment that will make their energy saving goals a reality. We also provide information and assistance to the retailers, architects, builders, and contractors who Vermonters turn to for energy-efficient products and services.
How, when, and why we started
In 1999, the Vermont Legislature passed a law enabling the creation of Efficiency Vermont. In 2000, Efficiency Vermont began to deliver services designed to help Vermonters save energy, reduce energy costs, and protect Vermont's environment. Previously, these services had been provided separately by each of Vermont’s 20-plus electric utilities. The creation of Efficiency Vermont enabled all Vermonters to receive a consistent and comprehensive set of services. The one exception is Burlington, which continues to receive energy efficiency services from Burlington Electric Department.
How we're funded
An energy efficiency charge on electric bills provides the funds for Efficiency Vermont services that help Vermonters use electricity more efficiently. Before Efficiency Vermont was created, the costs for these services were included in overall utility rates and were not itemized on bills.
Funding for Efficiency Vermont services that reduce heating and process fuel use comes from two sources: 1) Vermont revenues from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a marketplace for nine northeastern and mid-Atlantic states to sell emission allowances, and 2) revenues Efficiency Vermont receives from selling energy efficiency savings to the region’s Forward Capacity Market, where electrical energy and capacity is bought and sold to meet New England’s electricity needs.
People served, dollars saved
Efficiency Vermont has helped thousands of Vermonters reduce annual energy costs in their businesses and homes. For up-to-date information on numbers of people served and money saved, see our latest Annual Report.
Vermonters who worked with Efficiency Vermont to make energy-saving investments in their homes and businesses since Efficiency Vermont began will save over $798 million over the lifetime of those investments. These savings, in electricity, fossil fuels, and water, also help to control the rising cost of living and of doing business in the Green Mountain State.
Vermont businesses and homeowners who have used Efficiency Vermont's services over the past three years (2009-2011) to make cost-effective efficiency investments will save over 3 million megawatt hours of electricity and over 4 million MMBTUs of heating fuels over the lifetime of those investments.
Savings when energy is most expensive
By lowering peak electricity demand in both winter and summer, energy efficiency reduces the need for the state's utilities to buy electricity at some of the highest prices of the year from sources that tend to be the most polluting. It also makes Vermont's energy supply system more reliable and less subject to disruptions. For current information on peak demand savings, see our latest Annual Report.
Strengthening Vermont’s economy
Efficiency Vermont's work strengthens the state's economy. Every dollar spent on energy efficiency provides five dollars in economic benefits to the state, while most of each dollar spent on power purchases leaves Vermont.
Protecting our environment
Energy efficiency is good for the environment, because reduced energy use results in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-burning power plants. For more information about current reductions, see the Efficiency Vermont Success Stories.
Vermonters share the benefits of Efficiency Vermont's work. When Vermonters use less energy, utilities don't have to buy as much electricity from power plants. Also, fewer new power plants and power lines will be needed. All these purchases can result in higher rates that are passed on to you, in your electric bills. So, due to energy efficiency, these kinds of rate hikes can be avoided.