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Rutland's Women Shelter Saves Big With Efficiency Program

Efficiency upgrades can save homeowners a lot of money. But nonprofits can benefit from tightening up as well.

Evaloy Lanning, executive director of the Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter, guesses the two old homes they’re located in are at least 100 years old. “They were cold in the winter and warm in the summer,” she laughs.

Staff say the nonprofit spent more than $1,000 per month on heat and saw their electric bills skyrocket in the summer from all the air conditioning units they used to keep cool. 

But while their overhead was climbing, Lanning says most of their funders only want to pay for programming.

Looking for relief the non-profit enrolled in Green Mountain Power’s E-home program, an energy home renovation program the utility started to help customers save money, reduce fossil fuel consumption and live more comfortably.

Lanning says they were able to access a low interest $30,000 loan through NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, and invest in extensive efficiency upgrades including: attic and basement insulation, sealant and several heat pumps. “We really wanted the people who stay with us and our staff be comfortable when they come to work,” says Lanning, adding, “It’s really been wonderful, it’s made a huge difference.”

Staff members say it’s still early, but they expect their annual savings in power and fuel costs to more than offset their annual loan payments.