REGION – For the past six years, Efficiency Vermont has been honored to support the annual Button Up Vermont fall weatherization campaign. It’s a natural fit for us, because it raises awareness about the importance of making our homes ready for winter – a time when we often use a lot of energy to stay warm.
Unfortunately, some of that energy is wasted in a typical Vermont home. A home that isn’t properly air-sealed and insulated is a home that is heating the outdoors. With Vermont, a lot of homes fall into this category. The average home has enough cracks and openings that when combined, is the same as having a two-foot-square hole in the wall. Leaving them unsealed is like leaving a window open all year long.
Anyone who pays a heating bill knows this is an expensive problem – often hundreds of dollars a year. But fixing that problem can feel overwhelming. Where do I start? How will I afford it? Button Up Vermont is all about helping Vermonters find answers to those questions. Once you have answers you can take your next step on a journey to a warmer, healthier, and more affordable home.
Those benefits feel more important this year, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many people have shifted to working and learning from home, spending more time in home offices or at our kitchen tables. We are becoming acutely aware of our indoor environments and the impact they have on our overall wellbeing and resilience.
The cost of heating an inefficient home is also more critical as so many Vermonters are out of work. Thousands of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet, and winter heating bills have never seemed so daunting.
That’s why Button Up Vermont is so important. The campaign brings together resources, mobilizes communities to get the word out, and provides helpful tips and tools to empower us all to tackle weatherization projects that can help make our homes more comfortable. This year’s campaign is focused on promoting Do-it-Yourself projects. Efficiency Vermont will once again provide a $100 rebate to help cover the cost of DIY materials. These include weather stripping, air sealing materials, and insulation for your home.
2020 has been a year of uncertainty for us all. But one thing remains clear: Weatherizing our homes is an important investment that pays many dividends. There’s a lot to be said for a comfortable home and lower energy bills in a year like 2020. Find out more about the Button Up Vermont campaign and see if your home can become a little more resilient this year, www.buttonupvermont.org.
Written by Becca White, community engagement manager, Efficiency Vermont