Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Explore our latest coverage of environmental issues, climate change and more.

NYC Couple Wins Energy-Efficient Home Giveaway Contest In Rutland

Martin Schreiner and Lucas Hough stand on the front porch of their new home in Rutland.
Green Mountain Power, Courtesy

A couple from New York City are the winners of Green Mountain Power’s "Innovation Home" giveaway contest in Rutland. 

Contestants had to write a 500-word essay on why they wanted to live in an energy-efficient house, as well as explain how they’d help build community in Rutland. The prize? A brand-new, 1,500-square foot, fossil-fuel-free home, complete with solar panels, heat pumps and an electric vehicle charger.

Steve Costello, a vice president at Green Mountain Power, said Martin Schreiner and Lucas Hough beat out more than 160 other applicants from all over the country.

“They’re very excited,” said Costello of the winners. “This is the first home they’ve ever had and, living in New York City, they had thought homeownership just wasn’t a possibility for them.”

Costello said that began to change after the couple came to Tinmouth for a wedding about a year ago.

“And during the reception they kind of looked at each other and said, ‘Gosh it would be amazing if we could live up here,’" Costello said. "And that started their journey and then they heard of the contest and applied, and we just closed on the house and handed over the keys this morning."

The exterior of 60 Cleveland Ave. in Rutland, the energy-efficient home that a couple won.
Credit Green Mountain Power
A New York City couple won this brand-new home at 60 Cleveland Ave. in northwest Rutland - part of a contest the city and Green Mountain Power organized to revitalize parts of downtown Rutland, attract new residents and promote energy efficiency.

For years, a dilapidated three-story house had stood at 60 Cleveland Ave. in northwest Rutland. That property was purchased from the City of Rutland for $1 and torn down last February.

The new house was constructed with labor and materials donated by dozens of community partners. Utility customers did not pay for the home.

Costello said Schreiner, a food blogger, marketer and part-time opera singer, and Hough, a pathologist’s assistant, got engaged after learning they’d won, and they plan to move from New York City to their new Rutland home soon.

The couple was chosen by a local selection committee that included Rutland City Mayor David Allaire, members of the board of aldermen, local business leaders and others.

And Costello said committee members were so impressed by the nine finalists who didn't win that they wanted to find a way to encourage those entrants to move to the city as well. He said a charitable fund was created so that any of the finalists who move to Rutland within the next year will be eligible for a $10,000 incentive.

One in five Vermonters is considered elderly. But what does being elderly even mean — and what do Vermonters need to know as they age? I’m looking into how aging in Vermont impacts living essentials such as jobs, health care and housing. And also how aging impacts the stuff of life: marriage, loss, dating and sex.
Latest Stories