August 21, 2017
HEAT Squad receives $250,000 grant to expand to Northeast Kingdom
WEST RUTLAND, VT – HEAT Squad, an innovative and effective energy efficiency service developed by NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, is expanding to the Northeast Kingdom with the help of a $250,000 Northern Border Regional Commission grant.
Pioneered by Program Manager Melanie Paskevich in 2010, when Vermonters were in need of jobs and short on cash, HEAT Squad provided a solution to both needs with the cultivation of resilient contractor jobs and businesses and the reduction of energy bills to make Vermont homes more affordable. The innovative strategy of HEAT Squad focuses on educating homeowners about energy efficiency; offering low-cost energy audits and same day audit reports; objective advice and guidance regarding recommendations; referrals to trusted, local contractors; access to NWWVT in-house affordable financing; submissions for any applicable rebates; and quality review of each project.
The program, with roots in Rutland County, has created 62 jobs, three new businesses, and retrofitted 1,500 Vermont homes to be more energy efficient, healthy, safe and affordable over the last 6 years. As the HEAT Squad extends to Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia counties, it will create 36 local jobs and complete 233 home energy retrofits, saving residents $400,000 total over three years.
“This is one area that needs this probably more than any place in the state,” says Paskevich. “We’re excited about this opportunity and helping residents of the Northeast Kingdom make their homes healthier, safer, more efficient, and more affordable.”
HEAT Squad was one of ten Vermont organizations to receive a NBRC award. At the award ceremony in Hardwick on Thursday, Governor Phil Scott congratulated the recipients.
“These grants aim to help our forest-based economies, our emerging agricultural entrepreneurs, and the communities they depend upon to make investments in themselves – creating new opportunities for Vermonters,” said Scott. “This is incredibly valuable to our efforts to grow Vermont’s economy, and I want to thank our Congressional Delegation for supporting this program.”
NeighborWorks of Western Vermont is committed to sustainable homeownership for Vermonters. We work to help Vermonters become educated about finances and home ownership, find homes to purchase, get the loans they need to buy homes, and renovate their existing homes to make them more livable and cost-efficient. We believe that homeownership supports people and families in living healthy and stable lives. Rutland West Neighborhood Housing Services d/b/a NeighborWorks® of Western Vermont Licensed Lender #VT6200 NMLS #194008 Equal Housing Lender. More information: www.nwwvt.org