At a recent press conference, Gov. Phil Scott recognized a series of staff-led energy efficiency projects across Vermont's fish hatchery system, which will generate at least $1.4 million in energy savings and substantially reduce the hatcheries' carbon footprint for years to come.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department employees, with support from the Department of Buildings and General Services' State Resource Management Revolving Fund, have led the way on several energy efficiency projects that will reduce energy usage, produce green energy, save money and decrease greenhouse gas emissions at Vermont's fish hatcheries.
"This is a tremendous example of staff leadership and cross-agency coordination to improve efficiency in state government in a way that saves money and supports our environment, and I commend the team for developing these projects and implementing them across our hatcheries," said Scott. "Not only do these projects produce great economic and environmental benefits, they're also representative of the culture we're building within state government, one that empowers staff at all levels to find and implement internal efficiency projects, strive for continuous improvement, and ultimately provide great value to Vermont residents."
The energy efficiency projects extend across the state's five fish hatcheries and include a mix of improvements designed to reduce electricity, propane, and heating fuel usage.
The projects include lighting upgrades, water pump modifications, implementation of recirculation technology to maximize water heating efficiency, building heating system upgrades, installation of a solar panel array, redesign and replumbing of water intake systems and the installation of wastewater heat exchangers to capture waste heat.
The projects will create annual energy savings of approximately $120,000, which is roughly the amount of energy required to power 160 homes annually. Additionally, the projects will result in the reduction of greenhouse gases of an amount equivalent to driving a passenger car around the world 45 times.
"We're very proud of our staff for identifying and carrying out these projects, which are beneficial in so many ways," said Louis Porter, commissioner of Vermont Fish and Wildlife. "What's equally impressive is that we've been able to realize these financial and environmental benefits while continuing to raise the same amount of healthy fish needed to support Vermont's fisheries and provide quality recreational fishing opportunities to Vermont anglers."