Community Forum: Green Mountain Power now a B Corp
This week’s writer is Mary Powell, president and CEO of Green Mountain Power.
Energy can change lives and transform communities. Those guiding beliefs drive Green Mountain Power employees every day, as we look to find new innovations to help customers save money by using more renewable resources and less energy. It may strike some as odd that a utility wants to help people use less. At GMP, we are obsessed with providing our customers with the lowest-cost, cleanest and smartest solutions for energy use. This is what our customers tell us they want, whether it’s distributed energy resources, community projects, solar, wind, or a new way to track and control energy use remotely with mobile technology. GMP wants to accelerate the pace of change, and find new ways to benefit customers.
That passion to be a force for positive change is why we are so honored and excited to become a member of B Corp, the first utility in the world to ever get the distinguished certification. Becoming a B Corp will push us to continue to think of ways to be better — better for employees, better for communities, and better for the environment.
These are all steps that are making us Vermont’s Energy Company of the Future — delivering energy-efficient products and services to help Vermonters save money and be more comfortable, while moving to cleaner energy.
This change is already happening in Rutland. We are working with local leaders to create the “energy city of the future,” with a network of electric vehicle charging stations, a micro grid that is powered by solar and battery storage, community solar projects, and complete home energy services through our E-home program.
Our E-home program helps customers complete a comprehensive energy makeover with weatherization, heat pumps, solar arrays, heat pump water heaters and efficient lighting and thermostats that can all be controlled on a smartphone. This program brings energy efficiency and savings within reach of our customers through innovative on-bill financing that allows customers to realize savings immediately. Since launching the program in May, we have completed 12 of these E-homes, with more on the way, and each one is improving comfort, decreasing energy use and saving money on day one.
Another exciting community transformation in Rutland is our Energy Innovation Center. GMP renovated and moved into what was a dilapidated, long-vacant downtown building, where we now incubate and develop cutting-edge energy services and launch pilot programs and services.
This has spurred more economic activity in downtown Rutland. In the last three years, the downtown occupancy rate has increased from 87 percent to 95 percent, and over that same span, crimes like burglary, shoplifting and family disturbances have declined. Rutland’s Police Chief James Baker says GMP is an incredible partner in transforming Rutland and creating socio-economic change for residents.
The Department of Energy tells us that our comprehensive approach in Rutland is the first of its kind in the nation. GMP will take this new model of complete energy transformation and bring it to communities and residents across Vermont.
This is putting Vermont on the cutting edge of energy innovation, but it’s also changing lives and strengthening communities. At a time of double-digit increases in electricity rates across the region and higher costs for families, GMP lowered rates this year by 2.46 percent.
Green Mountain Power — Vermont’s Energy Company of the Future — is leading an exciting transformation that is bundling new energy products and services to change lives and build healthier communities by allowing Vermonters to save money, use less energy and move away from fossil fuels.
We became a B Corp to demonstrate our deep commitment to creating positive change in the community and the environment through our work to make clean energy more affordable and reliable for Vermonters. We are so honored to join with other businesses embracing the mission to “do good” and be a force for positive change. We have much more work to do, but the energy future of Vermont is very bright.
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