It's the first of its kind in the state -- a program aimed at getting small business owners to invest in energy upgrades, without worrying about financial risk.
"Of the businesses that take the time, take the initiative to go through and actually get an energy audit, only 40 percent of them today are able to follow through and do what they know they should do and make those improvements," said Mayor Miro Weinberger (D-Burlington).
The on-bill financing program means business owners can get up front funds to invest in projects that will make them more energy-efficient and the savings on their electricity bills would then be used to make payments on those projects.
"We are talking here about more efficient lighting, improvements in refrigeration and appliances and in some cases heating or air conditioning equipment," said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).
The program is funded by a 1-million dollar grant from the federal government that's matched by Burlington Electric, which will provide additional incentives to businesses enrolled in the program.
"This is a revolving fund, so it will stay in the community year after year. It's not just a pilot that we're going to see for a couple years and then say gee, I wish we could continue that," said Vermont Public Service Commissioner Liz Miller.
Right now the on-bill financing program is limited to small businesses only, but Sanders and others say they hope to bring it to homeowners and areas outside of the Queen City in the future. "This is essentially a model program. We want it to work and we are going to build big time on this program not just in Burlington but all over the State of Vermont," Sen. Sanders said.
One-hundred fifty businesses are expected to take part in the program during the first few years and projects must meet cost-effectiveness criteria. The program is expected to roll out beginning next year.
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:39:09 GMT
"Awesome -- I lost it when I finished I have to say, but it was great. It was great," said Amy Sullivan. The 2013 Boston Marathon runner was all smiles as she and 450 other runners crossed the finishMore >>
A race in southern Vermont Sunday gave runners who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon a second chance at the finish line.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:38 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:38:13 GMT
They come from all over the state and wait in line for hours. "It's become sort of a yearly event for us. We've been doing it for eight or nine years now -- we're having a blast," said Ed Sayers ofMore >>
Dozens of drivers gathered in Chelsea for a record setting road rally -- full of riddles that keep drivers and passengers on their toes.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:36 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:36:52 GMT
College graduation season is in full swing -- and Sunday in Burlington it was a big one. A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.In all, more thanMore >>
A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:28 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:28:28 GMT
Fire destroyed a barn in Clinton County, New York Sunday morning.It happened in the town of Mooers. Officials say the barn on Eddy Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 11:30More >>
Officials say the barn on Eddy Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 11:30 a.m.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:27 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:27:13 GMT
A Berlin, New Hampshire man is dead following a kayaking accident.It happened on a stretch of the Upper Ammonoosuc River in the town of Dummer. Officials say Keith Whitten, 58, was paddling with his wifeMore >>
A Berlin, New Hampshire man is dead following a kayaking accident.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:26 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:26:39 GMT
Woodchuck Hard Cider is taking legal action to protect its furry mascot.Last week the Middlebury company filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against South Burlington-based Woodchuck Coffee RoastersMore >>
Woodchuck Hard Cider is taking legal action to protect its furry mascot.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:17 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:17:27 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>