A First Annual Net-Zero Energy Festival in Burlington

Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 9:19 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - “I’m also just excited to see how much growth has been in all these electric things in the last few years,” said Burlington resident Casey Lamont.

Growth is the target for the state of Vermont when it comes to reducing and eliminating fossil fuel use. The Burlington Electric Department hosted their first Net Zero Energy Festival to promote the use of all things running off electric and battery power. They showcased a number of vendors and equipment at the festival to spread awareness to Vermonters that if we want to continue being green, it is a group effort.

“Our community has one of the most ambitious climate goals anywhere in the country. We are already 100% renewable when it comes to electricity. We are trying to become one hundred percent renewable when it comes to things like heating and ground transportation,” Burlington Electrics Darren Springer said.

Since 2018 when this goal was set the state has reduced emissions around twelve and a half percent. The festival featured electric transportation, electric cooking, solar equipment, and e- lawn mowers. Steven Wisbaum is the founder of the mow electric campaign. He came to the event to educate people on why e-mowers are better for people and the environment. He says maintenance is easier and going e-power helps slow climate change.

“It’s estimated that Vermonters burn about five million gallons of gasoline every year on lawn care. That doesn’t include diesel that’s burned. All the diesel mowers, the commercial mowers,” said Wisbaum.

Community members were able to try out some of the equipment at the festival. Carol Waterman came to check out all the options at the event. She says she and her husband have invested in solar and power walls in their house. She says more people should join the energy revolution.

“This whole electric revolution is all about upfront investment, which then pays off over the years. Between ten and twenty years, we will be saving a lot of money,” Waterman said.

Many people from the community came out in support of the event. Even Mayor Weinberger came to see how everyone responded.

“My sense is the community supports it strongly. Has supported it for decades. We got a lot more work to do, but we are doing great as a community. Its certainly one of the best Burlington stories there is,” said Mayor Weinberger.