Sally and Rick conducting energy audits

HEAT Squad energy auditors Sally and Rick.

This is part of a series of articles focused on the area nonprofit community and the impact on our region.

Front-line workers come in all shapes and sizes. Some wear invisible capes and have become heroes in our community. Our staff heroes come with infrared cameras and help you make your home cozy, safe, healthy and efficient.

Our HEAT Squad energy efficiency team at NeighborWorks of Western Vermont has been hard at work throughout the COVID pandemic and continues to serve our communities. While many of our staff began to work from home (now more than a year ago) and socially distance themselves, our HEAT Squad energy auditors Rick, Sally, and Nick doubled up on PPE equipment including masks, face visors, gloves, booties and gear cleaning supplies so home visits could continue safely.

Rick, Sally and Nick have overcome hurdles in creative ways to make sure our customers experience the best service while getting homeowners the information they need to complete health and safety repairs, receive rebates for weatherization work making their home cozier, and connect with local agencies for additional support when needed. They could not have continued their work without the support and understanding of our community. When outbreaks soared, the entire team from our customer service coordinators to our energy auditors would step back and reassess their process to accommodate more precaution measures and then start again helping homeowners.

Homeowners appreciated the dedication, and our entire staff was wowed by their perseverance and adaptation to virtual technologies to keep projects and customers moving forward. Energy audit report reviews were done virtually via Microsoft Teams so that homeowners could understand the report and ask questions. Our staff even created videos of key health and safety tips for social media to help homeowners understand their home health and hazards.

With so many Vermonters now being vaccinated, HEAT Squad energy audits with vaccinated homeowners in the home are back, and we hope to continue moving forward in our community, helping more Vermonters to have safe, healthy, efficient homes. For more information on our HEAT Squad and how they may be able to help, visit www.nwwvt.org or call 802-438-2303.

Svea Howard, marketing and community engagement, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont

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