Energy Committee Wins Statewide Award

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Friday December 12, 2014

The South Burlington Energy Committee has been selected as the winner of the 2014 Energy Committee Leadership Award as “Best Overall Energy Committee” by the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network (VECAN), a network of statewide environmental organizations. The award is given each year to the committee that embodies the spirit and determination of grassroots energy action. It was presented at the annual Community Energy Conference on December 6. The South Burlington Energy Committee won the award for “its strong history of tackling clean energy initiatives, including undertaking projects ranging from LED streetlight upgrades to solar installations, from residential lighting efficiency campaigns to clean energy financing solutions and far more.”

VECAN noted the citizen-run energy committee is “engaged in an exciting and ambitious process in competing for the prestigious Georgetown University Energy Prize. They are currently in the running to be chosen as a semifinalist in this $5-million-prize competition to save energy. The committee is committed to significantly cutting energy consumption and implementing renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. Their drive and focus are inspirational, leading the way toward a clean and efficient future for Vermont.”

“This award is a testament to the dedication and contribution of every current and past committee member, and we will continue to work diligently with our partners to promote efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy,” said Keith Epstein, South Burlington Energy Committee Chair and an engineer at local renewable energy manufacturer AllEarth Renewables.

City Manager Kevin Dorn said, “The South Burlington Energy Committee is comprised of some very knowledgeable and dedicated residents who are committed to making a difference in our community on energy efficiency and conservation matters and in reducing our overall carbon footprint. The committee and each member of the committee does an enormous amount of work to fulfill this objective.” South Burlington City Council Chair Pat Nowak added, “The City Council is so very proud of our Energy Committee and sends congratulations on being named the Energy Committee of the Year by VECAN. The hard work and creativity of your team is clearly evidenced not only by this award but also in advancing as a quarterfinalist in the Georgetown University Energy Prize. You make all of South Burlington proud!”

The South Burlington Energy Committee has made significant progress improving energy efficiency and conservation and promoting renewable energy since its start in 2008. Members of the committee recently advocated for a change in Vermont’s renewable energy netmetering laws to increase the allowed system size on closed landfills. As a result, the city is developing a 1.8 MW array on South Burlington’s closed landfill. The city’s comprehensive plan is being updated with significant improvements related to energy thanks to the Energy Committee’s work. The committee’s current focus is the South Burlington Energy Prize, which is South Burlington’s entry in the Georgetown University Energy Prize.

VECAN is a network of statewide Vermont organizations helping communities across the Green Mountain State to reduce energy costs and climate impacts through conservation, increased energy efficiency and conversion to renewable energy sources. VECAN project partners include Community Climate Action, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Sustainable Energy Resource Group, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council.

For more information contact Keith Epstein, South Burlington Energy Committe : keithepstein@gmail.com