Green Mountain Power energy-saving program helps out the Vermont Foodbank

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 9:06 AM EDT
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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) More energy is used on hot days and now calls to defeat the peak come with an added bonus.

The need to supply food to Vermonters isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so Green Mountain Power has created an innovative program to make sure the Vermont Foodbank has all the resources they need.

"The need is still there, we are still seeing unprecedented demand across the state," said John Sayles, the CEO of the Vermont Foodbank.

Sayles says to see residents of Vermont through the coronavirus pandemic, it will be a collective effort. And now a new program through Green Mountain Power does just that.

"Keeping people safe and healthy both to have power in your house and have food in the refrigerator," said Sayles.

That new program is called Save and Share and was created by the energy company.

"You can help the Vermont Foodbank without spending a dime yourself," said Green Mountain Power spokesperson Kristin Kelly.

They alert you of a coming electrical usage peak, you reduce your energy consumption, like turning off lights or not running an appliance, and Green Mountain Power will donate $5,000 for every one collective megawatt that is offset during the peak time.

"You are saving yourself money because you are using less energy, you are helping to save all GMP customers money because you are reducing demand during a peak, and you're raising money for the food bank," said Kelly.

Kelly says the program is part of many innovative ways GMP is trying to help Vermonters during the pandemic. Other ways include sharing solar credits with local businesses and using stored energy to offset costs.

They will determine the peak energy time come fall and will donate based on the amount Vermonters were able to reduce their energy usage.

Sayles says he's glad Vermonters are still willing to help Vermonters.

"Absolutely essential, this is not a one-time donation by GMP, this is a continuing effort to make a difference," said Sayles.

Sayles also says that the food bank is still in response mode and he doesn’t expect the need for food will be ending any time soon but will actually become more severe before it begins to get better, so a program like this will go a long way.