Want to keep warm this winter? Then Button Up Vermont, the weatherization campaign coordinated by Efficiency Vermont, has plenty of resources to help you insulate your home while also cutting your energy use and saving you money.
Button Up Vermont is a coalition that includes partnerships with Vermont utilities, regional planning commissions, nonprofits, and weatherization agencies. Thirty-eight Vermont towns and energy committees have signed on to participate this year, including the Stowe Energy Committee.
It may come as no surprise that we may all be spending a lot more time indoors this winter as social distancing is still recommended. Having safe, comfortable, and energy efficient homes is perhaps more important than ever, which makes weatherizing your home a great and timely idea.
Weatherization can also make your home safer by improving air flow, which can reduce the growth of harmful molds. The Button Up Vermont website at buttonupvermont.org has videos on a variety of helpful weatherization topics, including sealing ducts, smart thermostats, sealing the home, putting in storm windows, and insulating your basement and/or attic.
Rebates are also available for various products and services as well as up to $100 cash back to cover material costs for completion of three qualifying DIY projects. Visit the Efficiency Vermont website at www.efficiencyvermont.com for details.
In addition, because Stowe is a Button Up partner town, this enables you to register for a free virtual home energy visit, while appointments are available.
Essex Junction resident Darren Schibler worked with a weatherization contractor to install dense-packed cellulose insulation in the walls of his 70-year-old home and shared his experience with the ButtonUp campaign. “We’ve already noticed a difference in the comfort level of the home. There’s less of a draft, the dehumidifier runs at about half of what it normally does, and we are looking forward to saving some money on heating in the winter,” he said.
Don't miss the weekly webinar series “Weatherization Wednesdays” hosted by Button Up, featuring different weatherization topics each Wednesday at noon. These free online Zoom workshops now through November can help Vermonters determine what home weatherization strategy will work best for them and include DIY projects that can be completed in a weekend.
Event updates and schedules are available at buttonupvermont.org/events.
Help for homeowners
In addition to promoting weatherization tips and financial resources available to Vermonters, the Button Up campaign has partnered with the Vermont Community Foundation to create the Button Up Vermont Fund, which will raise money to help pay for weatherization projects for low income Vermonters.
Donations raised by Vermonters through this campaign will help low-income Vermonters make necessary repairs or upgrades to their home that will allow them to benefit from free weatherization services through the Weatherization Assistance Program. Eligible projects would include vermiculite and asbestos removal, heating system repairs, and installation of high-efficiency electric heating systems such as cold-climate heat pumps.
An anonymous donor has provided a $50,000 contribution to seed the Button Up Vermont Fund, and the campaign is seeking to double that amount through grassroots donations. For more information about the Button Up Vermont Fund and how to contribute, visit buttonupvermont.org/fund.
“With so many Vermonters spending more time at home, weatherization is as important as it’s ever been. Weatherization not only reduces carbon emissions and saves people money on heating bills, it also makes our homes more comfortable and healthier,” said ButtonUp Coordinator Becca White.
Ready to get started? If you have questions, call 888-921-5990 for answers and advice from an Efficiency Vermont energy specialist.
An occasional column by Richard Weinstein of the Stowe Energy Committee on all things energy-related for residents and businesses in Stowe.