Energy Committee
  • Peter LaBelle - 226-7250
  • Cheryl Leiner - 226-7820
  • Karen Wilson
  • Dan Sullivan
  • Mary Ormrod
  • Richard Svec

Energy Committee meets monthly on 2nd Wednesday at Noon in Town Office Meeting Room. Please stop by!


       CCCA has long encouraged Cavendish residents to engage in energy conservation measures and to be pro-active in using alternative energy sources.  We support and assist the town through our Energy Committee.  Originally known as the CCCA Sustainability Committee, we began by helping to publicize events such as the Button-Up program sponsored by the town, and by helping to present a variety of programs during “Energy Week” and later “Energy Days”.

In 2009 and 2010 the CCCA Sustainability Committee helped the town Energy Coordinator to apply for an Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant to weatherize and update the town office and the town garage.  The grant covered new windows, sprayed on foam insulation, upgraded lighting, a new furnace and an energy audit.  In all, the town received and spent $50,000 for this effort

. In 2010 the town select board accepted the offer of the Sustainability Committee to assist the board as the Cavendish Town Energy Committee and that committee is now engaged in a multitude of projects.

When the Selectboard decided to streamline the transfer station recycling operations with Zero Sort in 2013, the energy committee engaged in a public relations campaign to alert residents to the advantages of the new system.

   At the 2013 Town Meeting, the committee asked voters to approve creation of a Property Assessed Clean Energy (P.A.C.E.) program for homeowners to borrow money for weatherization improvements and repay from received energy savings. The program was approved by the town but later disbanded by the state.

Also in 2013, the committee worked with town officials to secure new, energy efficient LED streetlights for Cavendish village, saving up to 26% on the annual street lighting bill.

At a special town meeting in 2014 the committee secured approval from Cavendish citizens to install a solar field behind the sewer treatment plant on unused land that was invisible to any homes. That array was built and went on line in December 2014 and has provided power to all municipal operations since.

In the spring of 2015 the Energy Committee joined with committees in Weathersfield, Reading, and Windsor to form a regional group that would explore regional solutions to problems that overlap municipal borders. That group continues to work on those problems. The first job of the joint group was called Solarize. Local solar contractors were brought together with people who wanted to benefit from solar power. By the end of the program in 2016, Cavendish had doubled the number of homes in town with solar power.  

Continuing its success with Solarize, the committee undertook a similar program in 2017 with Weatherize, under which it sought to pair local weatherization contractors with homeowners who needed weatherization upgrades. That program also involved Efficiency Vermont, the state’s energy efficiency agency.   

Beginning in 2015 the committee engaged with the town planning commission in rewriting the Energy chapter of the Cavendish Town Plan.  That plan by law must be updated regularly, with the next update due in 2018. The Energy chapter required more data for current state and regional goals. After passage of ACT 174 the Energy committee collaborated with the regional planning commission to make the Cavendish plan compliant with State energy goals.

        Throughout its brief history, the Energy committee has developed and brought to the people of Cavendish and the region a series of workshops and clinics focusing on energy and sustainability topics. In 2014 they brought weatherization and solar experts to town. In 2015 it was composting and heat pumps; in 2016, it was the Zero Energy Now program. In 2017 the committee presented another round of composting with Master Composters, and a new program on heat pumps with local experts. Also in 2017 was a workshop on efficient wood heating. In 2018 it was Hydroponics and Pollinator Friendly Solar workshops and another presentation on weatherization from Efficiency Vermont. Workshops continue, and everyone is welcome, no matter what town they live in.

  The committee is always looking for new members with fresh ideas and a willingness to pitch in.  Contact Peter LaBelle at 226-7250 if you are interested or have an idea for another workshop.

Cavendish Energy Committee

2017 Annual report


     The Cavendish Energy Committee’s mission is to promote energy conservation at the individual, business and government levels in Cavendish in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to save costs.  The Committee, after thorough research, recommends actions to the municipality that are sustainable, energy efficient, and economically sensible.  The Committee engages and educates the Cavendish community on energy efficiency through outreach and the establishment of projects and activities.  The Committee partners with surrounding town energy committees to seek regional solutions to common problems, and to share practices and successes.

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017 the committee, in cooperation with several surrounding towns, followed up its success in the Solarize program of the previous year by promoting the Weatherize Cavendish program.  The program’s objective was to weatherize Cavendish homes and to raise awareness in the community of the economic benefits of weatherization.  Several residents took advantage of the incentives offered and are now saving money throughout the heating season.

     Cavendish’s town solar array continued producing electricity and the committee continued analyzing power distribution and KWH savings.  By better balancing the power distribution the town can best use the power generated.  In December the committee worked with town officials to install heat pumps in the town offices, virtually eliminating the use of oil in that building.  

     If you have particular energy saving questions or ideas, please pass them along to a committee member. If you have an interest in energy related issues and are willing to help, please contact Peter LaBelle at 802-226-7250 or Mary Ormrod at 802-226-7783.  We can always use more ideas and more members.  

Energy Committee Members:  Richard Svec, Town Energy Coordinator; Peter LaBelle, Committee Chair; Cheryl Leiner; Karen Wilson; Dan Sullivan; Mary Ormrod.