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Button Up

What is Button Up WEC all about?

Button Up Button Up WEC is a member service to improve your home’s energy performance and save money while reducing fossil fuel emissions. In 2017, and in future years WEC and other Vermont electric utilities have a statutory requirement under ACT 56 /Renewable Energy Standard to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of their customers. 

The Coop Board of Directors has approved WEC’s “Button Up WEC” program, and members are encouraged to understand what this service includes. Working with Efficiency Vermont, Capstone Community Action, ReSource and our other partners, WEC members who participate in 2017 will be eligible for incentives to improve the energy performance of their residences.

WEC’s primary role in Button Up WEC is to inform members whose homes meet minimum energy performance standards, and to advise on energy upgrade options that improve comfort, lower operating cost, and enhance the equity value of their property. WEC will be offering incentives that supplement Efficiency Vermont incentives for eligible equipment when installed by certified contractors.

Homes that do not meet a minimum energy performance standard will be referred to an energy audit. A certified Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® contractor will diagnose issues and advise on improvements that will save energy and money. The member can then select which improvements to invest in based in part on the incentives available to lower the cost of those improvements.

Within the Coop’s 41 town service territory, WEC aims to provide Button Up WEC services to as many as 55 households in 2017, by supporting increased insulation, decreased air infiltration, and other waste reducing measures.

Contributions from Washington Electric will range from $600 for weatherization improvements to $250 for cold-climate heat pumps  link to  Efficiency Vermont 2017 heat-pumps, to $250 for heat pump water heaters, to $950 for solar water heating systems, and $1,000 for pellet boilers. WEC will provide this assistance on a first-come / first-served basis until the Coop reaches the 2017 budget limit. WEC incentives for cold-climate heat pumps are directly linked to having the building’s thermal performance measured; however, any Efficiency Vermont incentive for cold-climate heat pumps is available without any such requirement.

What does “weatherization improvements” mean?

Weatherization (verb) is generally understood as the act of retrofitting an existing building’s (eg, your home) “shell” (structure) following a comprehensive analysis of how energy is used, and driven by the economic and environmental benefits of reducing energy usage. Button Up WEC targets overall energy efficiency with a specific goal of reducing fossil fuel emissions.

Weatherization typically does NOT include (for example) “change the windows”, because most windows are often not a cost justified upgrade (high costs with low energy savings), particularly when compared to (1) reducing air leakage followed by (2) adding appropriate insulation. Vermont Weatherization contractors are Certified, conducting energy audits based on Efficiency Vermont protocols, and installing retrofits to industry standards.

If the member’s residence has never been tested – either for Air Changes per Hour, or as an ENERGY STAR® Home, or achieved a HERS score of 85 or less, or has already received State Weatherization Assistance Program services, or another of the minimum performance standards – then the next step would be to select an eligible contractor to evaluate the building’s current energy performance.

WEC will provide direct technical assistance for any interested member, including guidance on appropriate next steps and recommendations for in-network Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractors. These energy professionals carry a national certification and provide access to Efficiency Vermont’s incentives.

Income eligible members may potentially be eligible to receive weatherization services at no cost through Vermont’s Weatherization Assistance program. Income guidelines can be found here. Income eligibility is determined through our partner, Capstone Community Action. Households that receive other forms of assistance may pre-qualify. 

it’s your energy iceberg! Energy Iceberg

Get Started!

Step 1: Download and print the forms below. Fill them out and mail them back to us at:

Washington Electric Coop, P.O.Box 8, East Montpelier VT 05651 OR EMAIL TO: energycoach@wec.coop

Step 2: What service/equipment or technology:  WEC Button-up intake member information form

Step 3: Button Up Application: 4-10-2017 building data intake form

QUESTIONS? call the coach! 802.224.2329