A brief chat with some friendly people you may know only by name.
Steve Casey, Account Manager—8 years with Efficiency Vermont
Hillary Orsini, Program Manager—2 years with Efficiency Vermont
Sarah Sherrill, EEN Training and Events Coordinator —10 years with Efficiency Vermont
Brian Sweeney, Account Manager—2 years with Efficiency Vermont
Sarah Sherrill: I say that I work with contractors who are doing good work in Vermont, accounting for the savings.
Steve Casey: I tell them I am an account manager for an energy efficiency utility. I help support electrical suppliers and electrical contractors who sell and install LED lighting and controls.
Brian Sweeney: I say that I am the account manager for our contractor network, the Efficiency Excellence Network. A big part of that is speaking to contractors and educating them about the different programs that they, and their customers, have access to. I also account manage the midstream HVAC programs, helping the HVAC distributors train their staff on the midstream programs. I have also taken on some new exciting workforce development work with youth.
Hillary Orsini: I tell them that I develop and manage programs that help Vermonters save energy. I tell them that Efficiency Vermont is the first efficiency utility in the nation, that it was a radical idea, and that it’s been a model for programs all over the world. Then I tell them that I moonlight as a standup comedian, because that’s easier to explain, and after all it is a party.
SC: I like their desire to continue to learn about new technologies and provide their customers with enhanced customer service.
SS: They’re a nice, friendly group of people.
HO: I appreciate that our members go the extra step to incorporate efficiency into their work. It takes time and energy to be in the EEN, and it shows a commitment to quality and to customers.
BS: They are the most engaged partners out there. They are truly interested in finding the most opportunity for their customers, and they are forward thinking as it relates to energy.
SC: The EEN has given its members a way to distinguish themselves from other contractors in their field.
BS: I think that just having a channel to reach out to Efficiency Vermont directly is a powerful advantage for them. We see some good leads also come through our customer support team.
HO: I’m really proud of trainings that the EEN offers. We work hard to offer relevant, important content taught by the best trainers available. It’s exciting to be able to showcase our own staff, as well as bring national experts to Vermont.
SC: I would require that every student take a vocational class for a year.
SS: Building science. Whether it is someone looking for a trade or part of a larger life skills class, that would go a long way.
BS: Soft skills and working with your hands. Kids need to know how to show up to work and be motivated. They need to understand how credit cards work, and the impact a school loan will really have on their future. They also need to know how to sew, swing a hammer, stuff like that.
HO: Maybe something like “How to be an adult.” It would include personal finances, how to change a tire, and how to cook something without a microwave.
HO: I really like it when people give me their favorite books.
SC: Just a simple happy birthday. Most people forget my birthday since it is the day after Christmas.
SS: A day in the mountains.
HO: I appreciate the people who work here. My colleagues come to work every day to make a difference in the lives of Vermonters, and are willing to try new things and innovate to make sure that happens.
SC: Efficiency Vermont has an amazing customer support team who help ratepayers and our partners with their efficiency needs. Whether it is a general question about our programs or specific project questions, they help get our customers the answers they need.
BS: They actually care about Vermont and Vermonters. Efficiency Vermont strives to make a positive impact in the state.
SS: Fixing small leaks will help in a big way.
BS: I wish people took the distribution of the heat in their home more seriously. We have great boilers out there and baseboard heaters that don’t allow the boilers to work at their fullest capacity. We should be designing all new houses with low-temperature distribution like radiant heat or panel radiators. And when we do replace our boiler, we should looking at updating the distribution as well.
HO: I wish that more people understood all the benefits of energy efficiency when making big decisions like buying a home or replacing an expensive piece of equipment. One of the things that I’ve learned at Efficiency Vermont is that efficiency often leads to healthier and more comfortable spaces. If more people understood those benefits (outside of dollars saved), I think we would have even more interest in making efficient homes, schools, etc.
SC: Technology advancements in the energy efficiency field are changing so rapidly. I am excited to see what new technologies will come out in the years ahead.
BS: I’m very excited about the amount of work going into workforce development. This is a major issue for all trades right now, and there are many powerful partners looking to help make a positive impact. I think we are going to see a boom of skilled laborers in the next 10 years.
HO: Electric cars and space travel to Mars.
SS: Maybe the Eastern Townships of Canada, or New Hampshire.
SC: New Jersey.
HO: If I had to settle down outside Vermont, I’d go to a city like Seattle, or maybe New Orleans.
BS: I guess if I had to pick I would say Colorado. It’s pretty much just big Vermont, right?