“We know that we face a planetary crisis with global warming, and that we must cut greenhouse gas emissions and cut back on fossil fuels,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is a member of the Senate energy and environment committees. “One of the greatest barriers that people face when they decide they want to improve the energy efficiency of their home or business, or when they want to install solar energy or geothermal heat pumps is the upfront cost.”
Vermonters are tapping an innovative program, dubbed Co-Op Solar 2013, to help them install solar water heating systems in their homes. “This makes solar affordable and accessible to more Vermonters. We need to expand programs like this so that every family has the chance to move to solar energy,” Bernie said. “With families in Vermont paying $600 or more per year to heat their water with fossil fuels, this type of solar energy system cuts emissions and saves money by reducing the need for fossil fuel water heating.”
State and federal incentives help drop the price of solar heat by about half. Further increasing the affordability of obtaining solar hot water heat, the Vermont State Employees Credit Union has developed a lending program to help people finance the remaining upfront costs with the money saved from reduced hot water expenses. For more information about this program, please call Bernie’s office toll-free at 1-800-339-9834.