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Vermont receives $350,000 for energy efficiency, housing

Posted by: VHFA on 10/26/2010

Vermont Energy Investment Corp. (VEIC), in partnership with Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB) and Champlain Housing Trust (CHT), has received a $350,000 grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

The two-year grant will be used to demonstrate how deep energy efficiency retrofits in single- and multi-family residences can make housing permanently and comprehensively affordable by reducing energy usage and costs.

In addition to establishing energy usage as a significant component of housing affordability, the project will also show how various sources of government funding might be harnessed to finance energy efficiency retrofits.

“This exciting partnership will help us to demonstrate how deep investment in energy efficiency can support housing affordability,” said Scott Johnstone, VEIC Executive Director.

“This is a win-win project that will provide a roadmap for achieving the twin goals of reducing energy usage and addressing the need for affordable housing in our community.”

The project will target at least five single-family residences for deep energy efficiency improvements. The goal of these improvements is to achieve energy savings of at least 50%, and potentially much higher.

The homes, recently acquired following foreclosure, will then be sold to low-income households and be made permanently affordable through CHT's programs.

Three multi-family buildings in West Rutland, Enosburg, and Windsor, financed in part by VHCB, will receive substantial energy efficiency improvements, again targeting energy savings of at least 50%.

“This is an exciting time in building energy science and this funding will help us determine what level of energy retrofit measures makes financial sense for permanently affordable rental housing," said Gus Seelig, VHCB Executive Director and a VHFA Commissioner.

"We are grateful for the opportunity presented by this generous award and will apply the findings to increase energy efficiency in Vermont’s portfolio of multi-family housing."

This project was one of nine projects selected from 372 proposals to receive funding through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s national competition soliciting ideas for scalable approaches to spurring energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings.

More information on the competition can be found at the foundation's Web site.