The Energy Co-op of Vermont’s Co-op Solar hot water heating program has received the Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for it’s contributions to protecting the environment, conserving energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Vermont Governor’s Awards were established in 1993 to “recognize the actions taken by Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and promote environmental sustainability.” In 2012, the innovative solar program led to the installation of over 40 solar hot water systems in Chittenden County, keeping an estimated 70,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and saving Vermonters approximately $500,000 over the lifetime of the systems.
Energy Co-op General Manager John Quinney and Program Coordinator Ben Griffin accepted the award on behalf of the Vermont residents, business owners and partners who participated in the 2012 program. Deb Markowitz, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, presented the award at UVM’s Davis Center on Tuesday evening, May 14th saying, “The Co-op Solar program was designed to make solar simple and affordable by forming strategic partnerships, negotiating volume discounts, and providing cost-effective financing to reduce the overall cost. Others are now using this model to promote solar installations around the state.”