South Burlington Sets Sight on Energy Prize

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Thursday November 21, 2013

At the Monday, November 18 City Council meeting, members of the Energy Committee presented a letter of intent stating their desire to compete for the Georgetown University Energy Prize (GUEP). South Burlington is already quite efficient in its use of energy and has made numerous improvements in recent years,  including updating the HVAC system at City Hall and incorporating LED lighting city-wide, but the energy committee knows even more can be accomplished; especially if the city receives the $5 million prize from this competition. 

The competition will take place over a 2-year period beginning in August 2014 and ending in 2016. Over the course of those years, the committee will collect reports on electricity and natural gas usage for schools, the municipality, and residents in aggregate. The contest does not consider industrial or commercial use. 

Cities that are accepted into the challenge will implement energy reduction programs from August 2014-August 2016. The city that shows the greatest energy reduction and develops the most scalable and replicable program will be awarded the cash prize to spend on efficiency projects that benefit the entire community. 

Working in South Burlington’s favor is the fact that energy use awareness is already high in the community, and the committee has already begun enlisting the support of local organizations who could work as partners. These include VEIC/Efficiency Vermont, the Public Service Department, Green Mountain Power, University of Vermont professors and students, the South Burlington School District, and Vermont Gas. All of these organizations have expressed their desire to offer general support. 

Step one of the no-cost application process entails submitting a letter of intent by February 2014 and ends with a detailed program plan submitted in June of 2014. Councilors were in strong agreement that this is an avenue the Energy Committee should pursue. Kevin Dorn will work with the committee to complete the application process and if South Burlington is accepted into the program, they will implement the programs necessary to compete. Stay tuned, South Burlington could be well on its way to reducing costs to both residents and our environment for years to come. 

For more information on the competition, check out 5th Rebel Hall of Fame class was formally inducted this fall during Homecoming Weekend festivities. The group included 9 athletes, 1 coach and SB’s first State Championship team ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, the 1970 Varsity Football team. Many inductees attribute their personal, career and athletic successes in life to what they learned while at South Burlington High School. Pictured from the 1970 team are: Standing L to R: Dave Watson; Ray Leggett; Gary Dubuque; Kurt Haigis, Mike O’Day. Seated L to R: Dan Dattilio; Ed Manship; Coach Paul Jordan, Coach Rick Farnham; Paul Farrar; Paul Ugalde.

SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent