REV members are committed to building strong, resilient communities across our state. In typical times, we do this by educating people about renewable energy, building resilient energy systems, saving Vermonters money on their utility bills, providing well-paid employment, and contributing to the reduction of climate pollution.
Since COVID-19 hit, building strong communities has come to mean other things as well. REV members care deeply about the sustainability and longevity of Vermont communities. We are proud to lift up some examples of their inspiring contributions:
In Randolph, Catamount Solar has been using its idle trucks to assist the Randolph Area Food Shelf with food delivery and distribution. Catamount Solar has its shop/warehouse in space owned by the Randolph Area Food Shelf and has been a significant contributor to the Food Shelf’s efforts since 2013. In mid-March, as the state prepared for the Governor’s Stay Home order, Catamount offered trucks and available labor to help the food shelf meet the unprecedented need. In its first run, Catamount employees delivered close to a ton of food.
In Hardwick, REV Member Lamoille Valley Ford recognizes the debt we all have to the health care providers risking their lives to care for us during this pandemic. To honor these Hometown Heroes, they are providing no-charge scheduled maintenance to all First Responders and Health Care Professionals. Find out more here.
REV member VSECU, Vermont’s local credit union serving all Vermonters, innovated immediately to continue serving the community while keeping employees and customers safe. As soon as Vermonters began to experience the economic hardship caused by the shutdown, VSECU was there with emergency loan funds for individuals and businesses alike. In a collaboration with Let’s Grow Kids, the $25 VSECU membership deposit and first loan payment on these loans are provided to early childhood educators. These low-interest, even zero percent loans have provided a lifeline for many Vermonters. To cover interest costs on these loans, VSECU created a Vermonter’s Guide to Physical Distancing featuring, of course, a cow. All proceeds from the sale of these $5.00 stickers go to eliminate interest costs on emergency loans for Vermonters who have been negatively affected by COVID-19. VSECU’s blog is filled with information to help Vermonters navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic: everything from community and food resources, to stimulus checks, to keeping your kids entertained at home.
Mayor Miro Weinberger and REV Member Burlington Electric Department (BED) never lost sight of their commitment to addressing climate change even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demonstrating to all of us that green future is possible, BED not only worked quickly to implement immediate relief efforts for its customers, it also embraced green stimulus measures that will kick-start the economy, save money for customers, and mitigate climate pollution for decades to come. Ongoing Green Stimulus measures include incentives for electric bicycles, low and sometimes zero percent interest loans for home energy improvements, as well as increased incentives for electric vehicles. Additionally, BED’s residential customers can receive money for weatherization projects, cash for replacing inefficient appliances, and incentives for cold-climate heat pumps and heat pump water heaters. BED’s commercial customers can receive incentives for geothermal installation costs, efficiency building controls, heat pumps, and the replacement of failed heating and cooling systems. Read more about these innovative programs here.
Regional solutions have been key to meeting the needs of Vermonters affected by coronavirus. REV member SunCommon played an integral role in establishing the volunteer-run Washington and Northern Orange Counties Regional Response Command Center. Open 8:00 am – 10:00 pm 7 days per week, the call center offers free, confidential support, connecting residents to services and resources in Central Vermont. Reach the call center at 802-636-2025. Read more here.
REV member and South Burlington based environmental consulting firm VHB donated masks and is providing extensive COVID-related expertise on its blog. Posts guide transit systems through the process of restoring service, assist construction companies in maintaining safety while continuing to move forward on projects, offer tips for organizing a remote workforce, and trend forecasts for the real estate, energy, and transportation sectors. Learn more here.
As we move through these challenging times together, positive stories like these remind us of the community values that matters most.