With local businesses and residents immediately impacted by the COVID-19 economic crisis, residents of Burlington, Vermont are finding relief from the city’s utility department.

To support their local commercial and residential customers, the Burlington Electric Department (BED) announced a suite of new programs for relief and recovery efforts.  The following are highlights of a number of these efforts, according to the department’s website:

– Disconnection / Late Fee Policy: Disconnections for nonpayment and late fees are suspended until further notice

– Commercial Budget Billing: New program option for commercial customers to have level payments for a 12-month period

– Weatherization: BED will work with Champlain Valley Weatherization Services and VGS in an effort to boost funding/incentives for low- and moderate-income weatherization projects for rental housing.

– energyChamp: BED and VGS restart the energyChamp program, which previously provided up to 75 percent weatherization incentives for multi-family housing.

– Cold-climate heat pump incentives: BED is proposing to increase cold-climate heat pump incentives from a total maximum today of $2,200 to a new maximum of $3,500 to support local projects.

– Electric Vehicle incentives: BED will boost the electric vehicle (EV) incentive from $1,200 to $1,800 and the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) incentive from $1,200 to $1,500 for purchase or lease of new EVs and PHEVs.

– Cash for Residential Appliances: BED will launch a new cash for residential appliances program that incentivizes homeowners and renters, where tenants pay the electric bill, to recycle older, inefficient appliances and replace them with new energy efficient refrigerators, freezers, and clothes washers and dryers.

– Zero-interest loans with on-bill financing: BED will change its on-bill financing program to provide zero-interest loans with up to seven year terms for eligible small businesses and non-profits to pursue energy efficiency projects that have neutral or positive cash flow from day one, with energy savings guarantees where necessary to remove risk.

– Failed heating and cooling systems replacement: BED will boost incentives that help cover the incremental cost of replacing equipment, including heating and cooling systems, that fails in the coming months with new energy efficient systems.