Vermont Business Magazine Efficiency Vermont is working with the state’s 12 regional development corporations (RDCs) to entice businesses to move ahead with planned energy efficiency upgrades that my be delayed due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Efficiency Vermont has earmarked $1 million, in addition to existing incentives, for projects that will lower energy costs for struggling businesses, and help the state meet its energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction goals.
“Many of the businesses we serve have struggled to thrive amid supply chain disruptions, staffing shortages, and production cutbacks tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and other market pressures,” said Fred Kenney, Executive Director, Addison County Economic Development Corporation and President, RDCs of VT. “By partnering with Efficiency Vermont, the Regional Development Corporations can bring much-needed financial and technical support to key businesses in our regions. We are excited to help seek out businesses that might ordinarily not think to reach out to Efficiency Vermont, so they can benefit from this program.”
The new, limited-time program will cover 90 percent of project costs, up to $40,000 per project, compared with 10-50 percent coverage for traditional incentives. Exceptions to the limit may be made on a case-by-case basis depending on the project need. The goal is to identify at least 1-2 projects in each of the state’s 12 development regions.
“Energy efficiency projects can help businesses reduce operating costs, which in turn increases the economic vitality and resilience of our communities,” said Joan Goldstein, Commissioner of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. “Programs like these will provide much needed relief for businesses at the center of our economy.”
“We know that many of our business customers have struggled through challenges brought on by the pandemic, and we are eager to help those most impacted take steps that could deliver long-term savings that make our regional businesses more viable and resilient,” said Dave Corliss, Efficiency Vermont’s Director of Customer Engagement. “These incentive levels are unprecedented, to match the challenges businesses face, and will only be available for a limited time.”
Projects could include upgrades to lighting, HVAC, compressed air, refrigeration, or other energy-intensive systems that businesses rely on. Engineering studies to assess potential savings opportunities are also eligible for funding. Projects must be completed this year to receive incentives, which will be available on a first-come, first-served basis through an application process.