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Vermont Gas To Expand Energy Efficiency Services

Vermont Gas Systems plans to offer its energy efficiency program to all consumers in its service territory even if they don’t use natural gas for fuel.

The utility announced the expansion on Tuesday at an event in Addison County. Sen. Chris Bray, D-Addison, said he came up with the idea this summer in response to the gas company’s proposal to extend its pipeline through Addison County and eventually to Rutland.

“For me, I think it reflects a stewardship ethic. If we’re going to burn fossil fuels, and they have an environmental impact, we all know that, so let’s mitigate those impacts by trying to reduce them,” he said. “This proposal they’re filing today is really an important step forward.”

Vermont Gas already provides energy efficiency services to customers who buy its fuel. The new effort would, for the first time, extend those programs to all consumers in the company’s service territory, regardless of how they heat their homes.

Vermont Gas CEO Don Gilbert said the efficiency program helps the utility and its customers. Gilbert says the company periodically makes capital investments to expand the capacity of its line that brings fuel down from Canada.

“And every year we can push that out by having our customers be more efficient in their usage of natural gas, the more competitive our rates, the more efficient our system,” he said. “So it benefits us from being able to maintain very competitive rates and give our customers lower costs.”

The efficiency services will be available in the current Vermont Gas territory in Franklin and Chittenden counties, and along in its proposed pipeline expansion route in Addison County. The company plans to prioritize services for low income customers and for those on fuel assistance.

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