Monday, February 9, 2009

Ripton home energy initiative starting up

A community-driven energy improvement program is starting up in town:
Volunteers will fan out through Ripton in the weeks ahead, carrying low-energy lightbulbs, insulating wraps for hot water heaters, hot water pipe insulation, low-flow shower heads, and even programmable thermostats, all to be installed at no cost to residents.

The Vermont Community Energy Mobilization Project picked Ripton as one of ten towns in the state where the program will be tested. "It's actually quite amazing," said Warren King, on the steering committee of the town's energy assistance project. "The value of these products is quite high, and the savings to homeowners will be enormous, this winter and for many winters to come."

Local volunteers will be trained on Saturday, February 14 from 9-12 at the Ripton School, and each one will commit to visiting at least two houses in the town-King says the group as a whole has pledged to retrofit 25 houses in town by April 15, and that volunteers will visit homes in pairs.

"We'll also spread the word to everyone about ACTR bus service to Ripton," said Jerry Shedd, another member of the organizing group. "People know the bus is running, but they're not all certain about the schedule."

The Ripton Energy Assistance Project formed in the fall, and collected donations in an effort to make sure that no-one in town would run short of heating oil or propane this winter. They've also cut and stacked five cords of wood, ready for distribution to townspeople with wood stoves who run out of fuel by the end of winter.

"Right from the beginning, though, we wanted to make sure that we were also helping people make their homes more energy efficient," said King. "Our goal is to make sure that no-one has to worry about their heating bills in years to come, because their houses will be tight and efficient."

(text from Bill McKibben; thanks to Warren King)

No comments: