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Springfield Energy Committee Secures Funds for Municipal Efficiency Upgrades

 
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Source: Caili Orem, UVM Intern

The admirable work of the Springfield Energy Committee has not gone unnoticed by the town officials and even throughout the state of Vermont. As a volunteer advisory committee gaining no profit or power from their energy projects around Springfield, the persistence and devotion of the committee members have served as an example for other towns.

The creation of the committee and the energy projects began with the partnership with Green Mountain Power, where early projects such as the implementation of LED light bulbs in street lights around Springfield initiated future plans. Through collaboration with the town manager, for the first time ever, a line item for energy efficiency was placed in the town budget for the fiscal year 2017. In the current budget, $4,500 has been designated for energy projects.

Char Osterlund, the chair of the Springfield Energy Committee for the past three years, has worked to collaborate with other organizations such as Efficiency Vermont and Vital Community to network and find additional opportunities for Springfield. This past year, Springfield was named a focus town by Efficiency Vermont. This will provide additional manpower and resources toward educating the residents of Springfield. 

While in a transition period between projects, Char expressed interest in working toward being named a VT Climate Action Community in the future. While gracious, the funding from the Town of Springfield is not sufficient to tackle every energy efficiency issue in Springfield due to the older infrastructure. However, Char presents a positive attitude and believes strongly in collaboration and persistence to achieve the goals of the committee. Obstacles aside, the Springfield Energy Committee is working hard to promote their mission toward energy efficiency and has set a precedent for other towns throughout the state.