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Financial and Lifestyle Resources for Vermont

VSECU Blog

In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.

Laurie Fielder

Laurie directs VSECU’s statewide VGreen energy savings loan program. Previously, she worked for the weatherization program at the Central Vermont Community Action Council (now Capstone), and for a successful residential solar installer. She enjoys helping Vermonters learn about efficiency and renewable financing options that maximize the savings of these smart investments. She lives in Woodbury with her family and enjoys the outdoors, walking the dog, and tackling home improvement projects.

By: Laurie Fielder

September 21st, 2021

How to Protect Your Foundation with Energy Efficient Landscape Design

Energy Savings | Lifestyle

For most people, energy conservation means turning down the heat, turning up the air conditioning, or installing a water-saving shower head, but there are other actions homeowners can take to conserve energy, make their home more comfortable and durable, and spruce up their space at the same time.

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By: Laurie Fielder

July 13th, 2021

What Does Conservation Mean? Is it the Same as Efficiency? And What Are Renewables?

Energy Savings | Saving and Budgeting

The energy efficiency community has something in common with many other industries, including medical, insurance, sports—lots of jargon that can cause confusion. Conservation and efficiency are often used interchangeably, but they are different. And then there's renewable energy, or “renewables” for short. I like to be intentional about these terms and bring clarity around them for others so they can apply real-world solutions to combat the existential challenge of climate change.

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By: Laurie Fielder

June 3rd, 2021

Is Solar Worth the Investment?

Energy Savings

Most people who are considering a solar purchase ask this question: “If I invest in a solar project for my home, can I expect to break even?” Unfortunately, the answer isn't as simple as yes or no because it depends on several factors, relating to both the homeowner and the project.  

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By: Laurie Fielder

January 27th, 2021

Energy Efficient Home Heating Options

Energy Savings | Saving and Budgeting

The good and bad news about heating your home in Vermont is that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Every home is different, after all—with existing heating system, floor plan, and heat-loss issues. The reason this is good news is that you can create a system that works for your unique home and budget. It may take some research, but you’ve come to the right place. In order to simplify your search for the perfect system for your home, we have compiled this list of the five efficient home heating options and the types of homes they are best suited to.

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6 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Cultivate and Maintain an Excellent Credit Score

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By: Laurie Fielder

January 26th, 2021

How to Save on Home Heating Fuel in Vermont

Energy Savings | Saving and Budgeting

Winter is an expensive season, largely because of the cost of keeping the home warm. Fortunately, there are a lot of small, low-cost things you can do on your own to reduce seasonal heating costs, from tightening up your house before the weather hits to finding cost-effective options for home heating fuel.

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By: Laurie Fielder

December 22nd, 2020

Thinking of Buying a Used Electric Car? Here’s What You Should Know

Energy Savings | Auto Buying

As the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) becomes more widespread, more used electric cars are entering the market and offering a more affordable option for those looking to go electric. In fact, 7% of electric vehicles registered in Vermont in the first quarter of 2020 are used, according to the most recent report from Drive Electric VT. This number is only expected to grow along with the increased availability of used EVs. If you’re looking to go green with your next vehicle and think you might be interested in a used EV, here is a list of important questions to ask and information to know as you start your search.

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By: Laurie Fielder

September 24th, 2019

Resources to Help Fund Your Home Energy Efficiency Improvements

Energy Savings | Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future

Home energy efficiency projects offer many benefits, including health and safety, comfort, structural durability, and energy savings. The money you save by making energy efficiency upgrades can help cover the costs of financing the improvements, making these a great investment from day one. To sweeten the deal, there are multiple programs, rebates, and discounts designed to make energy efficiency possible for people of most income levels. Here are some of the biggies:

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By: Laurie Fielder

July 20th, 2019

Hiking Tips and Tricks for Enthusiastic Beginners

Learn Something New | Lifestyle

I love to exercise outdoors, especially in the summer. I’m not much of a runner or biker. I like to walk, but I get bored on my typical route. Hiking gives me the complete experience—lots of exercise, views, fresh air, sunshine, companionship, and a sense of challenge and accomplishment. I’ve hiked all my life, starting as a little girl on Mount Mansfield’s Sunset Ridge Trail, the Tetons in Wyoming in 1990, and the Hunger and Elmore Mountain trails in central Vermont in the last couple of decades.

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