News Releases

September 18, 2008

Governor Announces 100 Free Home Energy Workshops

Launches Button Up Vermont, the Newest Fuel and Food Partnership Initiative

Berlin, VT--Vermonters have significant opportunities to save energy in their homes, and today Governor Jim Douglas, Hal Cohen, Executive Director of the Central Vermont Community Action Council, and Jim Grevatt, Director of Residential Energy Services for Efficiency Vermont, unveiled a new initiative to help Vermonters learn how to reduce their home energy use and save money. Button Up Vermont will work with local energy committees and other civic groups to offer free home energy saving workshops in 100 Vermont communities throughout the fall.

The plan is the most recent addition to the Governor’s Fuel and Food Partnership—a collaboration of public and private partners charged by the Governor with marshaling every available resource to help Vermonters address the rising cost of fuel and food. Button Up Vermont is spearheaded by the Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) in partnership with the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN) and Efficiency Vermont, with funding provided by the Vermont Agency of Human Services.

“Many Vermonters are concerned about the rising cost of heating their homes, and our Fuel and Food Partnership has put together a valuable series of workshops to help Vermonters to take advantage of cost-effective opportunities to save energy in their homes and lower their heating bills. I strongly encourage all Vermont homeowners to attend a Button Up Vermont workshop in their community to learn more.”

To date, over 89 Vermont communities have signed up to host a Button Up Vermont workshop. The two hour sessions will focus on the greatest opportunities for residential energy savings, finding and sealing air leaks, immediate and simple actions homeowners can take to reduce their energy consumption, and where to find technical and financial resources to get started on the path to a more energy efficient home.

“These workshops will emphasize no-cost and low-cost ways to save both energy and money,” added Hal Cohen. “We all know the challenge of rising energy costs. Button Up Vermont is designed to help all Vermonters reduce their energy bills this winter.”

Button Up Vermont will provide specially trained presenters who will give slideshows to illustrate hands-on tips, bring samples of energy saving materials, and provide free educational materials for everyone attending the workshops.

"The Button Up workshops will provide Vermonters with the information they need to get their homes ready for winter," said Jim Grevatt, Director of Residential Energy Services for Efficiency Vermont. "We will be presenting practical information in areas ranging from do-it-yourself projects to professional work through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program."

Montpelier homeowner Suzanne Hechmer already knows her investment in efficiency was worthwhile. “Last year,” she explains, “after having a home energy audit conducted on my house, I had some major energy improvements done, including installing insulation and sealing air leaks. During the last heating season, we reduced our propane use by 50 from the previous winter -- and the house was more comfortable without all the drafty spots.”

To learn how your community can host a workshop, please contact Button Up Vermont at or call 802 279-1708.

To find out when and where Button Up Vermont workshops will be held in your community, visit or call 211; or visit or call 1-888-921-5990.

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: September 18, 2008 11:39:33