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Burlington Electric Department leads in efficiency innovation


From the January 15, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published January 15, 2013

By Laura D'Alessandro
Integrated Media Editor
Burlington, Vt., a college town of 40,000, is a recognized leader in energy efficiency, the largest city in the state, and a cultural gem situated in scenic splendor on historic Lake Champlain. Often referred to as the sixth Great Lake, 120-mile long Champlain drains the Green Mountains of Vermont to the east, and the Adirondacks of New York to the west, before flowing north into the Saint Lawrence River near Montreal.  

Reflecting its rural roots and deeply ingrained environmental ethic, the Vermont Legislature in 2000 established the first statewide energy efficiency utility in the nation. At the same time, Burlington Electric Department (BED) was uniquely authorized by the Legislature and Vermont regulators to act as its own energy efficiency utility, a tribute to the strength and quality of its programs. 

Over the last 20 years, BED and its customers have jointly invested more than $30 million in energy efficiency measures, allowing Burlington ratepayers to save more than $10 million per year on their electric bills. As a consequence of its aggressive investment in energy efficiency, BED’s load growth has been brought to a virtual standstill.  

"We’ve taken energy efficiency seriously for a long time," Tom Buckley, manager of customer and energy services, told Brent Barker in an article forPublic Power magazine. "We now sell about the same amount of electricity we did in 1989. Our rates are among the lowest in New England, and our residential customers’ bills are 25 percent lower than the statewide average."
BED and Vermont ‘s rich histories of efficiency innovation and continued commitments are chronicled in the article, "Efficiency Infrastructure." The article is posted on publicpowermedia.org.

Subscriptions to the electronic and print editions of Public Power and all other APPA periodicals are free to all employees and governing board members of APPA member utilities and associate members. An online subscription signup form is on publicpower.org.

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