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    Mike Kanarick
    Manager of Customer Care, Communications, and Energy Services
    Burlington Electric Department
    585 Pine Street
    Burlington, Vt. 05401
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    Burlingtonians Answered Call to Reduce Energy Usage

    Community Proved Readiness for Upcoming Peak Days; Humane Society Awarded $1,000

    Burlington, VT – The Burlington community answered the call last Thursday by reducing its energy usage in response to the first peak day alert issued by the Burlington Electric Department as part of its newly-launched Defeat the Peak program (view prior news releases here and here), encouraging members of the Burlington community to reduce their energy usage to protect the planet, save money, and assist impactful nonprofits. Burlington Electric customers collectively met the internally-set target for reduced consumption, thereby triggering a $1,000 contribution to the Humane Society of Chittenden County. At its Pine Street facility, Burlington Electric was able to lead by example and reduce its energy consumption by 42 percent during the peak event.

    “We’re impressed, but not surprised, with the strong response by customers, who truly ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to protecting our planet,” stated Neale Lunderville, Burlington Electric Department General Manger. “This type of community focus is exactly why Burlington will achieve its long-range goal of becoming a net zero energy city.”

    Nancy Cathcart, President and CEO of the Humane Society of Chittenden County, said: “Thank you, Burlington! Our team at the Humane Society is extremely grateful that the community’s efforts not only have helped protect the environment, but also have provided important support to help foster compassionate treatment of animals and prevent animal suffering.”

    Burlingtonians lent a hand by taking the following steps on what was a hot, summer (although not peak) day:

    • Raised thermostats and turned off air conditioners before leaving for work and, to the extent possible, waited until after 7:00pm to turn on air conditioners or, if unable to wait past 7:00pm, used less cool settings;
    • Waited until after 7:00pm or later to use washing machines, clothing dryers, dishwashers, and other appliances; and
    • Turned off non-essential lights until 7:00pm and later.

    Burlington Electric followed its peak energy reduction plan last Thursday at its Pine Street facility in the following ways:

    • Turned off non-essential lights;
    • Raised the thermostat on air conditioning units;
    • Reduced hot water usage by washing hands with cold water;
    • Powered off computers before leaving work;
    • Avoided electric vehicle charging during the peak event; and
    • Unplugged non-essential personal devices.

    The calculations for Burlington Electric’s energy consumption reduction considered gross building consumption (green area in graph below) by removing the effect of our 107 kW behind-the-meter solar array and compared this actual building usage with an estimate of what the building might have been expected to use during the event if we had not made efforts to reduce consumption (the grey line).

    Usage Chart

    Burlington Electric’s actions to lower consumption resulted in a reduction of 42 percent during the event window from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.

    Last Thursday probably will not have been the highest load hour for New England for the year, which means Burlington Electric will call future peak day alerts this summer and additional nonprofits will benefit if the targeted savings again are met or exceeded. If Burlington Electric is able to predict the peak load period for New England before it happens and our customers reduce load at that time, Burlington Electric and its customers will save money in the following year.

    GM Lunderville added: “We encourage Burlingtonians to stay tuned for additional peak alerts throughout the rest of summer – we have a great opportunity to do even better. There will be more chances for a triple win: keeping costs low, protecting our environment, and supporting community nonprofits.”

    Burlington Electric customers can sign up for peak alert day email notifications, view a video explaining Defeat the Peak, and learn more about the program by visiting

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