NEWPORT — A group of officials gathered at the Orleans County Courthouse last week to celebrate energy efficiency improvements they say will save county property taxpayers an estimated $8,500 a year in energy costs incurred in the operation of the two buildings.
The group included local contractors, who toured the courthouse to highlight substantial energy efficiency improvements throughout the building.
Some of those improvements include spray foam insulation to seal the old stone foundation, boiler room hot water pipe insulation, LED bulb replacement, and motion-sensing light switches.
The group estimates that the annual energy use will be reduced by 57 percent at the courthouse, and 59 percent at the Sheriff’s Department.
“The Courthouse has been noticeably warmer and more comfortable during the recent cold snap, and motion-detecting light switches have made it easier to close the building at the end of the day without having to walk down dark hallways,” said County Treasurer Mary Ann Fletcher.
Efficiency Vermont Director Karen Glitman explained that the improvements at the Courthouse and Sheriff’s Department are part of a larger effort to increase awareness and customer engagement in the Newport area in general.
Throughout 2018, Efficiency Vermont will increase its presence in Newport, seeking to work with more businesses, multifamily housing unit owners, and residents to help the community save money and increase comfort.
“Newport has one of the highest energy burdens in Vermont, where customers spend a disproportionately high amount of their income on energy costs,” said Glitman. “By working with the County to improve the energy efficiency of these public buildings, we hope to make the value of energy efficiency more tangible for the community and inspire more people and businesses to work with us.”
All of the work at the two County buildings was performed by locally-based contractors.