The Hartford Energy Commission was established in 2007 to focus on energy for the town.
- To ensure that energy supplies will be reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound
- To increase public awareness of energy issues and build public support for energy efficiency and sustainable energy policies
- To promote least cost planning, or life cycle costing, which considers all costs of energy production and use, including environmental and social costs
- To promote the development of local renewable resources as a replacement for imported non-renewable resources
- To reduce energy demands for transportation
- To reduce the adverse environmental impacts associated with energy consumption
- To reduce the overall energy consumption within the Town through conservation and efficiency
- To save financial and natural resources by encouraging the conservation and efficient use of energy in the Town and region
Commissioners have been appointed by the Hartford Selectboard to the 7-member commission. If you are interested in being on the commission, email the Town Manager's Office or call 802-295-9353.
If you do not want to be a commissioner, there are large and small projects to work on. You also can join the HEC email list to keep up with the latest news. Contact Lori Hirshfield.
Free Weatherization Supplies
Is your house too cold? Heat bill too high? Make your home warmer with free weatherization supplies from Cover Home Repair. Call 802-296-7241, ext. 4 for more details.
- Energy use in town buildings: Looking at electricity and heat usage and ways to lower this usage thereby saving the taxpayers money
- Streetlight inventory in Wilder and downtown White River Junction (in conjunction with HDC)
Efficiency Vermont is working with Vermont municipalities to encourage their residents to build more energy-efficient homes. As part of this effort, we have prepared a new Municipal Guide to Vermont Energy Codes and Above-Code Programs (PDF), a resource provided by Efficiency Vermont and the Energy Code Assistance Center that provides background information on energy code requirements, explains the energy code process from application through documented compliance, and outlines the support available from Efficiency Vermont for builders and homeowners - both to simply meet the minimum requirements of the energy codes and to receive technical and financial assistance to exceed codes.
Zoning and planning officials are in a unique position to influence the long-term affordability and environmental impacts of the building that occurs within their town. They can do this by providing critical information to builders and home or business owners about how they can build to meet or exceed Vermont's energy codes. The Municipal Guide to Vermont Energy Codes and Above-Code Programs will make it easier for municipalities to achieve this by providing clear and relevant information so that zoning and planning officials can easily respond to permit applicants.
Efficiency Vermont and the Energy Code Assistance Center have also prepared a question and answer piece, "Enhancing the Role of Vermont Municipalities in Improving Efficiency in New Construction," (PDF) that addresses specific municipal responsibilities associated with implementing energy code-related requirements under Act 89. For immediate support builders, contractors, and permit applicants can be referred to the Energy Code Assistance Center (ECAC) at 855-887-0673.
General Energy Saving Tips
- Do only full loads of laundry or use low settings.
- Most laundry can be safely cleaned without the hot setting.
- Fix leaking toilets and faucets
- Run dishwashers only when full.
- Use a low-flow shower head.
- Water the garden using a soaker hose or drip irrigation. Water in early morning or at night. If practical, use collected rainwater to water garden.
- When brushing your teeth, turn off water while brushing.
Convert to CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs. These are especially efficient for lights that are "on" long periods of time. They save 1/3 the electricity. CFL bulbs contain mercury. Save and dispose of at Household Hazardous Waste Day. Also, the following businesses will accept them at any time:
- Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste District office in North Hartland
- Hanover Hardware
- Lebanon and Hanover Co-ops (at service desk)
- Lebanon Landfill
There are socket adjusters and harps to make sure CFLs fit most fixtures. Three-way CFLs also are available.
Appliances / Electronics
- Energy Star appliances use 20 to 25% less energy. Energystar.gov has a list including energy use.
- Printer cartridges can be recycled at Office Depot, Office Max, and Staples
This information was excerpted from Charleston, West Virginia, Sunday Gazette-Mail of April 20, 2008, and a presentation from Bob Walker of SERG.
For more tips, see the HEC energy kit available from the Hartford Libraries. The kit contains books, a DVD, and an energy meter to measure your appliances.
Energy Efficiency Tips
Make your home energy efficient:
- Convert fuel usage to British thermal units (BTUs).
- Figure out the square footage in your house, not counting unheated areas.
- Divide BTU by square feet. If this is larger than 40,000 per year, it's time to think about how to button up your home.
What You Can Do
Most infiltration takes place as warm air rises and flows out openings high in the house, pulling cold air in through leaks low in the home. These leaks are easiest to find on cold days and are usually very cost-effective to repair.
Feel for cold drafts coming in low areas- where the sill meets the foundation, around low doors, windows, and penetrations for pipes and wires. Hold something that smokes, like incense, and look for smoke being sucked out along potential openings high in the building:
- Attic hatches
- Ceiling lights
- Electric outlets
- Upper floor windows
Seal all high and low openings with weather stripping, spray foam or caulk.
Zero Cost Possibilities
- Close chimney and fireplace dampers when not in use. If a chimney is unused, install an inflatable chimney pillow or caulked-in foam plug to better seal it.
- Close interior doors and turn off the heat in any rooms that are not used during the winter.
- If your exterior doors jiggle when closed, move the striker/latch plate closer to the door stop so the door closes snugly against the stop, or add new weather stripping that snugs up against the door.
- Set your thermostat back at night and while you are gone during the day. This will save you about 1% on your heating use for each degree set back. Using a programmable thermostat to do this will allow you to bring the heat back up to a comfortable temperature before you get up in the morning or return home.
- Turn your hot water on and let it run for a couple of minutes. If it is too hot to hold your hand under the water, turn the thermostat on your hot water tank down to 120 degrees.
- Caulk closed all leaky windows and doors that you never open (make sure you have not blocked off emergency exits).
- Check and replace weather stripping when worn.
- Cover leaky windows that you do not want to open in the spring with an interior plastic "storm" product, like Tyz-All, available at Energy Federation Inc. (call 800-876-0660, or visit the website). Tyz-All can be removed in the spring and reused next winter. It will usually pay for itself in 1 year.
- If you can feel heat coming off your hot water tank or hot water pipes, cover them with an insulated tank wrap jacket or foam pipe insulation available at your local hardware store or Energy Foundation Inc. (call 800-876-0660, or visit the website).
- Make sure all fan-driven vents (dryer, stove, bathroom, etc.) have an exterior flap that closes tightly when the fan is off. Clear vent flaps of lint and other debris so they close tightly.
- Weather-strip all exterior doors, including:
- Attic hatches
- Bulkhead doors
- Doors to cold cellars and crawl spaces
Medium Cost Possibilities
- Install storm windows and doors. Close and latch them tightly.
- Stone wall foundations in old homes are incredibly leaky. Hiring a contractor to apply 2 inches of sprayed foam insulation from the subfloor down to 4 feet underground will stop air infiltration, insulate against freezing temperatures and reduce moisture infiltration.
This information is from "Energy Saving Tips from SERG" by Bob Walker, Executive Director.
- Comprehensive Energy Plan Outline Final March 2017 (PDF)
- Efficiency Vermont Website Information (PDF)
- Energy Action Plan Final March 2017 (PDF)
- Enhancing the Role of Vermont Municipalities in Improving Efficiency in New Construction (PDF)
- Hartford Energy Commission 2010 Newsletter (PDF)
- Hartford Energy Commission Newsletter High Resolution 2011 (PDF)
- Hartford Energy Commission Newsletter Low Resolution (PDF)
- Municipal Guide to Vermont Energy Codes and Above-Code Programs (PDF)