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.
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:31 AM EST2014-03-08 13:31:36 GMT
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. His office says Governor Peter Shumlin will be at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. While theMore >>
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:17 AM EST2014-03-08 13:17:30 GMT
We have some ideas for your Saturday. IRISH FESTIVAL The 19th annual Burlington Irish Heritage Festival kicks off today. There is a lecture about the role of Irish immigrants in the Civil War at theMore >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:28 PM EST2014-03-08 00:28:44 GMT
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there. More >>
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there.More >>