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Contrary to the conventional wisdom that Washington can’t find common ground on anything, there is at least one issue on which we can all agree: Using less energy is a
good thing. It’s simply common sense. Investments in energy efficiency save families and businesses money, reduce our reliance on foreign energy sources, and improve our environment. They also create good manufacturing jobs at American companies making energy efficient products like windows, siding, smart meters, and insulation.
Vermont is leading the nation on energy efficiency with the help of corporate leaders at
IBM in Essex Junction, Vermont. IBM has proven to Vermont and the world that strategically focusing on reducing energy consumption yields cost savings – to the tune of $5.1 million in two years. Last week, Vermont’s IBM facility was honored with the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award for the fourth time in five years.
Congressman Welch (center) with IBM Vermont Product Stewardship Program Manager Ruma Kohli and Facilities Mechanical Engineer Patrick Zachary.
This important award is a well-deserved recognition of IBM’s strong commitment to Vermont’s communities. In the spirit of IBM’s 100th anniversary last year – coinciding with its 55th year in Vermont – the company has been sharing best practices with local nonprofits in energy and water management, and has provided grants, education and volunteer hours equaling nearly $3 million.
For example, IBM is helping Burlington nonprofit Howard Center and Vermont Technical College realize energy reductions that are meeting or exceeding their goals. And by sharing its data analysis techniques with local businesses, IBM Essex Junction is spearheading a Smart Vermont Initiative to provide those businesses with access to the state’s emerging smart grid.
With the help of IBM, Vermont is leading the nation in energy efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint. As Vermont’s sole congressman in Washington, I am proud to collaborate with IBM and other corporate and non-profit leaders on the win-win-win of using less energy: lower energy bills, new jobs, and a cleaner environment.
Peter Welch represents the state of Vermont in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached at http://welch.house.gov.
Managing Energy to Build a Sustainable Vermont
Flipping the Smart Grid Switch in Vermont
Why Good Environmental Policy is Good Business