Economic Relief and Recovery: Burlington Electric Department worked to quickly implement financial relief efforts shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our community. We will continue to support these and new relief efforts, as well as seek to redirect a portion of BED’s energy efficiency funds to support local economic recovery once our public health environment allows for the safe resumption of activity for residents and businesses.
Immediate Help for BED Customers
- Disconnections for nonpayment: suspended until further notice
- Late fees: suspended until further notice
- Budget billing plans for commercial customers: new option for commercial customers in good standing to use budget payment plans (already available for residential customers) to have level payments for 12 months.
Net Zero Energy Programs Available Now
- Home Energy Loan: BED will partner with local credit unions, including VSECU and Opportunities Credit Union, on a new Home Energy Loan program that will provide BED residential customers who install heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and/or new Energy Star home appliances with interest rates as low as zero percent based on household income.
- Electric bike (E-bike) incentives: BED will continue to offer its $200 point-of-sale E-bike incentives, and BED customers will benefit from a partnership between Burlington’s Old Spokes Home, a retail bike shop and non-profit that creates access to bikes and the opportunities they provide for the whole community, and Opportunities Credit Union that helps make E-bikes available to low-income customers who plan to use the E-bikes for commuting to work. Old Spokes Home is selling the E-bikes at cost and further reducing the price by BED’s $200 incentive, and Opportunities Credit Union is offering zero-percent interest, low-barrier loans.
Temporary or Limited-Time Net Zero Energy Programs Coming Soon
BED is proposing and seeking approval for these programs through the regulatory process.
For Residential Customers
- Weatherization for renters and homeowners through Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP): BED will work with Champlain Valley Weatherization Services and VGS to boost funding/incentives for income eligible weatherization projects for renters and homeowners.
- Electric Energy Efficiency Projects for Affordable Housing: BED will cover up to 100 percent of eligible electric energy efficiency upgrades for affordable housing providers, including Burlington Housing Authority, Champlain Housing Trust, Cathedral Square, and Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity.
- Weatherization for rental property owners (not income eligible for WAP) through energyChamp Rental Properties program: BED and VGS are exploring reinvigorating the energyChamp rental apartment program, which previously provided up to 75 percent weatherization and electric efficiency improvement incentives for multi-family housing where renters pay heating costs directly. Bonus incentives may be available to property owners who complete weatherization of more than one rental property during the remainder of 2020.
- Weatherization for homeowners (not income eligible for WAP) through energyChamp Homes program: BED and VGS are exploring increasing residential weatherization incentives from 33 to 60 percent and adding a bonus incentive for low- to moderate-income (LMI) customers.
- Cash for Residential Appliances: BED will launch a new cash for residential appliances program that incentivizes homeowners and renters, where tenants pay the electric bill, to recycle older, inefficient appliances and replace them with new energy efficient refrigerators, freezers, and clothes washers and dryers.
- Cold-climate heat pump incentives: BED is proposing increasing cold-climate heat pump incentives from a maximum total today of $2,200 to $3,500 to support local projects.
- Heat pump water heater incentives: BED proposes to double the heat pump water heater incentive and boost the LMI incentive.
For Commercial Customers
- Zero-interest loans with on-bill financing: BED will change its on-bill financing program to provide zero-interest loans with up to seven year terms for eligible small businesses and non-profits to pursue energy efficiency projects that have neutral or positive cash flow from day one, with energy savings guarantees where necessary to remove risk.
- Failed heating and cooling systems replacement: BED will boost incentives that help cover the incremental cost of replacing equipment, including heating and cooling systems, that fails in the coming months with new energy efficient systems.
- Bonus heat pump incentives: BED will offer additional incentives for commercial heat pump and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) installations.
- Geothermal energy program: BED will provide incentives to help cover the cost of drilling test wells if the customer ultimately installs a geothermal heat pump or VRF system.
- Building controls: BED will provide up to $1,000 to help cover the cost of programming building controls to reduce energy use for commercial customers.
For All Customers
- Electric Vehicle (EV) incentives: BED will boost EV incentives from $1,200 to $1,800 and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) incentives from $1,200 to $1,500 for purchase or lease of new EVs and PHEVs.