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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

June 20th, 2017

How to Protect the Environment through Banking Choices

Alternative Banking | Energy Savings | Learn Something New

If you care about the environment, you’re probably doing what you can to preserve natural resources and reduce fossil fuel use. Maybe you’re recycling and using energy efficient lighting. Maybe you’re even sharing rides to save gas. You may buy environmentally friendly products and, if you’re really serious about how to protect the environment, invest in companies and options that are kind to the planet.

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By: Laurie Fielder

June 13th, 2017

Why Go Solar? [7 Reasons]

Energy Savings | Investing in the Future | Lifestyle

In today’s world, there are very few reasons NOT to go solar. So why go solar? Solar equipment is becoming more affordable and community solar arrays make it possible for those who rent their home, or have a site with poor sun exposure or other barriers to a solar installation, to benefit from an off-site solar array. This article will focus on 7 more reasons.

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By: Laurie Fielder

June 13th, 2016

Community Solar – A Renewable Energy Option for Everyone

Energy Savings | Saving and Budgeting

Arrays that Power Small Communities of Like-Minded People Community solar arrays (CSA’s) are large solar installations that power small communities of homes and/or businesses. You may also hear them referred to as “farms” or “gardens.” CSA communities are not necessarily bound by geographic location. They arise through the connection of like-minded folks who want to go solar without hosting the solar infrastructure on their property. The participants in a CSA can be neighbors, or they can live many towns apart. They participate by owning or leasing a “share” of the whole array, and the economy of scale of shared equipment reduces the costs for all participants, making community solar a more affordable option.

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By: Laurie Fielder

May 31st, 2016

Location Efficiency Saves Time, Money, and Energy

Energy Savings | Saving and Budgeting

“Transportation costs are the second biggest budget item for most families.” -from the Location Affordability Portal Save Money and Time by Locating Your Home near Your Life Location efficiency is one of many choices you can make that will result in savings of money, time, fossil fuels, and energy. The concept is simple—you locate your home within a short distance of the places you visit most often. By living close to work, shopping destinations, friends, and favorite hot spots, you spend less on gas and auto maintenance fees, waste less time in travel, and produce fewer greenhouse gases.

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6 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

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By: Laurie Fielder

February 16th, 2016

The Coolest Thing since Skiing: Fat Biking

Energy Savings | Lifestyle

Is Biking Your Next Winter Sport? If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy the winter landscape, here’s an idea for you – how about fat biking? Fat bikes have extra-wide tires with more aggressive tread that, when coupled with low tire pressure, grips the snow and provides cushioning for the rider. The sport is gaining “traction” in Vermont, with more and more bikers taking to the winter trails.

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By: Laurie Fielder

October 19th, 2015

An Affordable Way to Achieve Energy Independence

Energy Savings | Saving and Budgeting

Energy efficiency projects can cost a lot. But they save a lot over time. The trick is to eliminate the financial impact on the front end by financing the project with a low-interest loan. If you can do that, and put your energy savings toward the loan payoff, you can experience no increase in your monthly payments. And once you pay off your loan, all your energy savings are money in the bank. How does it work? Here is how two Vermonters achieved energy efficiency without losing their shirt.

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By: Laurie Fielder

September 24th, 2015

Programs, Rebates, and Discounts to Help Fund Your Energy Efficiency Project

Energy Savings | Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future

Energy efficiency projects will save you money in the long run but may cost a lot upfront. Fortunately, 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

September 24th, 2015

The Top 9 Questions to Ask When Considering Solar

Energy Savings | Investing in the Future

Solar photovoltaic systems transform the sun’s rays into energy using solar panels. Photovoltaic systems often represent a significant investment of time and resources. As with any large investment, you will want to begin by asking the questions that will lead you to the best possible option for your situation.

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