Moretown has an opportunity to optimize the energy efficiency of its buildings. On April 6, Brad Long, from Efficiency Vermont, spoke to the Moretown Select Board, announcing his company’s new municipal and residential energy-efficiency initiative.
“What this will look like in The Valley is it’s essentially an engagement campaign designed to increase awareness of available services, resources and incentives for residents and businesses for Efficiency Vermont and our statewide partners,” said Long. “The goal is to help people reduce their energy use. That includes business owners, renters, rental property owners, farmers, nonprofits and municipalities.”
Long and colleagues are currently gearing up for a communitywide webinar on April 26 in which a variety of organizations will come together to discuss energy-efficiency solutions for the whole Valley. Presenters will include Efficiency Vermont, Green Mountain Power, Washington Electric, Capstone Community Services, the Mad River Valley Community Fund and the Mad River Valley Housing Coalition.
“We’re all going to get together and present the services and incentives available to community members,” said Long.
For example, one of the services Efficiency Vermont offers is a walk-through energy assessment of any home or building. These walk-throughs are designed to offer people a high level energy assessment of their building and where they can make the most cost-effective energy reductions.
Currently, Moretown and other Valley towns, each have a $4,000 incentive to upgrade their buildings through Efficiency Vermont. Select board member Don Wexler suggested that Long do a walk-through of the Moretown Town Hall, which is in need of an energy upgrade. “When you have a chance, I’d love to walk through it with you,” said Wexler.
About the incentive, select board chair Tom Martin said, “We will certainly look at what is eligible and then look at our properties and see where that would best be used.”
“If the town is interested in us walking through town-owned buildings, that’s absolutely something we can do this year,” said Long.
In addition to talking energy efficiency, the select board also made plans to pay off its recently completed sidewalk project that involved installing a sidewalk along Route 100B through Moretown village.
“The bottom line is we needed to come up with $370,974,” said town clerk Cherilyn Brown. “We are going to take $100,000 from the savings reserve, and we are going to borrow $270,000.”
“We met with the finance committee, and they recommended that we go with a 10-year term, versus a 15- or five-year term. The interest rate would be at 2.08%” explained Brown.
Some select board members questioned the benefits of going for a 10-year loan versus a 15-year loan. Brown explained that, for 10 years, the payments would be about $33,000 a year, and for 15 years, payments would be around $24,000 a year. “But the town will save about $20,000 by going for the 10-year rate and paying it off early,” said Brown.
Eventually, the board made a motion to approve a 10-year loan with Community Bank to pay off the sidewalk project at a 2.08% interest rate.