Clean Energy Workforce Unites to Fight Decarbonization of Buildings

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“Best of the Best” winners announced at conference

Vermont Business Magazine Hundreds of Vermont contractors, architects, equipment suppliers and manufacturers gathered this week for Efficiency Vermont’s 24th Better Buildings by Design (BBD) conference to learn how to integrate building carbon and energy savings in Vermont homes, businesses and public buildings. The two-day conference ended on Thursday.

Efficiency Vermont Acting General Manager Rebecca Foster welcomed more than 600 attendees Wednesday morning to the DoubleTree by Hilton in South Burlington, thanking Vermont building professionals for the work they have done over the past two decades. to help Vermonters access the benefits of energy efficiency.

“Here in Vermont, we’ve avoided 13.2 million tons of GHG emissions since Efficiency Vermont was founded in 2000, while providing Vermonters with $3 billion in lifetime energy savings,” Foster said. “Our programs played a big part in achieving these incredible numbers, but we didn’t do it alone; it is the construction professionals here present who have made these results possible.

Foster spoke of the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions while ensuring energy affordability, emphasizing that energy efficiency is Vermont’s most cost-effective carbon reduction strategy.

Vermonters spend an average of $5,800 a year on energy bills, and low-income Vermonters spend up to 17% of their household income on energy, including heat, transportation, and electricity.

“These kinds of burdens force some very tough decisions to be made around the kitchen tables in this state. Trade-offs between food, medicine and energy are all too common and they are unacceptable,” Foster said. “As we think about the work we have ahead of us… Yes, climate science says we have to tackle greenhouse gas emissions globally, but we have to do it in a way that is cost-effective and ensures that energy remains close at hand and affordable for the people who need it most.

Guest speaker Julie Moore, secretary of the Vermont Natural Resources Agency, echoed Foster’s call for cost-effective decarbonization and highlighted the critical need for affordable housing and communities to help grow the workforce. work from Vermont.

“Your work to create better buildings is inextricably linked to other challenges Vermont faces. Specifically, issues related to affordability, labor recruitment and housing,” Moore told conference attendees Wednesday morning. She noted that the 234 specific action steps called for by Vermont’s climate action plan, which include energy efficiency improvements, can seem overwhelming. But, she said, “The grounding, the connections, the conversations, the learning that will take place over the next two days here; this is exactly where we are supposed to be right now.

Clean Energy Workforce Training

BBD offers building professionals a range of continuing education opportunities to deepen their knowledge of energy efficiency best practices and technologies to better serve their customers. Participants are members of Vermont’s 17,500-person clean energy workforce.

The following are examples of training sessions and workshops offered at this year’s two-day BBD conference:

  • Smart homes and connected devices

  • Condition and compartmentalize high-performance multi-family buildings

  • Scaling Passive House Retrofit Solutions

  • Shaping equitable decarbonization

  • Use natural gas refrigerants to meet decarbonization goals

  • Geothermal heat pumps

  • Hydronics for low energy buildings

The best of the best

Efficiency Vermont also honored outstanding energy efficiency projects over the past year, announcing the Best of the Best award winners:

New Residential Construction – Best of the Best Award

  • Project name: House in Norwich, Vermont

  • Winning company: Back Tilt Studio

  • Project partner: Earthshare Construction

New Residential Construction – Healthy Homes Award

  • Project name: House in Calais, Vermont

  • Winning company: Montpellier Construction

  • Project partner: Matt Lutz, architect

New Residential Construction – Affordability Pricing

  • Project Name: KTP Mobile Home Park

  • Winning business: John Graham Housing and Services

  • Project Partners: KBS Homes, Addison County Community Trust

New Residential Construction – Affordability Pricing

  • Project name: Whistlestop Mobile Home Park

  • Winning company: Downstreet Housing and Community Development

  • Project partner: KBS Homes

Commercial Building Design and Construction – Renovation Grand Prize
  • Building Name: HULA Tech Campus

  • Owner: Scully Interactive / HULA

  • Candidate: Smith-Alvarez-Sienkiewycz Architects

Commercial Building Design and Construction – New Construction Awards

  • Building name: Pomerleau Family YMCA

  • Owner: YMCA of Greater Burlington

  • Participant: Freeman French Freeman

Commercial Building Design and Construction – Small Renovation Award

  • Building Name: Vermont Natural Resources Council Headquarters

  • Owner: Vermont Natural Resources Council

  • Participant: Vermont Integrated Architecture, PC

Efficiency Excellence Network – Partner of the Year Award

Network of Excellence in Effectiveness – Leadership Award

About Efficiency Vermont

As the nation’s first energy efficiency utility, Efficiency Vermont has helped Vermont avoid more than 13.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and received the Partner of the Year award ENERGY STAR from the ENERGY STAR Program – Sustained Excellence for the past six consecutive years. Efficiency Vermont works with partners to help our state transition to more affordable, low-carbon energy use through education, incentives, and support for our workforce in the area of clean energy. Learn more about www.efficiencyvermont.com

29.04.2022. South Burlington, Vermont – Efficiency Vermont

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