In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
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.
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.
Spring is the perfect time in Vermont to think about how you keep the temperature of your home comfortable, and to consider whether there may be a more efficient heating and/or cooling option out there. This “in between” season highlights the virtues of heat pumps, because with just the flick of a switch, a heat pump can go from heating your home to air conditioning it. And in most cases, it can save money while improving comfort and indoor air quality.
Since buying a 1929 Dutch Colonial a few years ago, my wife and I have been trying to reduce our energy bill and improve the interior temperature and comfort of our home. We’ve invested in weatherization, cold climate heat pumps, a heat pump hot water heater, and other energy efficiency upgrades with support from a local lender. After we completed these upgrades last year, I’ve been curiously exploring what else we could modify for further efficiency. Enter the heat pump dryer!
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Spring is finally here and, with it, more hours of daylight, warmer weather, and greater opportunities for outdoor cycling. Biking is a great, gas-free alternative to cars and can save you money and improve your physical health all at once. So, dust off your bike and get it out of storage and onto the road. However, before you do, it’s a good idea to give your bike a tire-to-tire once-over.
We all lead busy lives and the thought of getting all our tasks done can seem overwhelming, especially when it comes to home maintenance. With spring coming, you may be wondering what projects you need to tackle around the house. The pandemic has spurred a lot of home projects, which means contractors’ schedules are filling quickly (some may already be filled). So, now is the time to start planning and reaching out!
Winter is coming to an end, making it a great time to consider upgrades to your heating system that will improve your comfort next winter! You’ve probably heard that the state has a goal of reaching 90 percent renewable energy by 2050, but you may not have heard that part of that goal is to reach 35 percent of our thermal energy needs from wood heat by 2030. It’s true! Vermont has a long cultural history of heating with wood, and already 24 percent of our thermal energy comes from wood heat, but modern advances in wood heating technology have made it easier, cleaner, and more sustainable than ever before.
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.