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VPR’s Energy Efficiency Measures Highlighted At Conference

Over the last several years, VPR has been working to improve energy consumption at our historic 19th-century headquarters, located in Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester. Our efforts are being presented as a case study this week as part of the Better Buildings By Design conference in Burlington, hosted by Efficiency Vermont.

We began in 2008 with lighting projects, which yielded far greater savings than we ever imagined: 25,000 kilowatt hours per year.

More recently, we updated all of our thermostats so they can be controlled through a central computer. This allows us to create warmer and cooler zones that help to keep the entire building in balance. For example, the side of the building that gets morning sun has the thermostats set to a lower temperature than on the other side of the building. The result has been a much more comfortable working environment with an additional 31,000 kilowatt hours saved per year.

We also analyzed the HVAC system in our building and found we could channel the heat produced by our studio equipment to heat other parts of the building, which has further reduced our energy consumption. Plus, since we're running our HVAC system more efficiently, we've been able to save approximately $7,000 in maintenance costs. 

As a participant in VBSR’sBusiness Energy Action challenge, VPR is committed to reducing its energy consumption by 5% per year. However, our annual energy use has already been reduced by 27 percent, and we saved $15,700 in energy costs in 2012 alone.

Our next steps include reducing energy costs at our tower sites around the state, and combining efficiency measures with the use of renewable energy sources to get our energy use to zero kilowatt hours.

Michelle leads the team that oversees station branding and marketing, communications, audience services, events and audience engagement initiatives. She joined Vermont Public in 2002 as an administrative associate and has worn many hats in the areas of audience services, membership, marketing and communications.
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