New effort encourages rental property owners to invest in energy efficiency
The Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee and Efficiency Vermont are joining forces to make it easier for the city’s rental property owners and their tenants to enjoy the benefits of more energy efficient housing.
Efficiency Vermont is offering personal project support for Montpelier rental property owners, including free energy walk-throughs by energy efficiency experts to identify and prioritize efficiency opportunities. The energy committee will help promote the program.
According to the 2018 Montpelier Grand List, there are approximately 1,300 rental units in Montpelier. Statewide, at least 70 percent of renting households are estimated to qualify as low-income.
“Montpelier homeowners have led Vermont by weatherizing their houses to make them more comfortable, more affordable, and more sustainable,” said Kate Stephenson, chair of the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee. “We want to help people who rent their homes reap the benefits of energy efficiency; by doing so we can help rental property owners make their properties more valuable, help their tenants spend less on energy, and make it easier for many lower-income families to live in more comfortable, healthier homes.”
“Efficiency Vermont offers a wide variety of resources, like technical advice and incentives, that rental property owners can benefit from,” said Phoebe Howe, Program Manager for Efficiency Vermont. “By reaching out one-to-one with owners, we believe we can better understand their individual challenges and needs, build strong working relationships, and help them take full advantage of our programs to the benefit of their investment and their tenants alike.”
Howe explained that many rental property owners make investments in their properties as part of longer-term facility maintenance plans. “If we understand their maintenance plans, we’ll better understand when the opportune times are for certain energy efficiency investments,” said Howe. “For example, if we know a landlord is planning to replace their roof, we can help them build attic insulation into that project plan.”
Efficiency Vermont will also work directly with tenants to raise awareness of and access to weatherization assistance programs they may be eligible for. In addition, Efficiency Vermont can help income-eligible tenants with high energy bills apply for free appliances such as refrigerators, washers, and heat pumps, to help lower energy costs.