Dear VGS Customers –
Happy New Year! Although our community is still struggling with the pandemic, we share a sense of relief to have 2020 behind us and the new day of 2021 ahead. The vaccine brings first light after a long night. It shines the warmth of hope that this year will return the things we miss most: family dinners, pizza night with friends, hockey games at the Gut, the Maple Fest parade, fireworks at the Waterfront, and the tractor pull at Field Days. As a community, our collective sacrifice to defeat the virus—wearing masks, maintaining distance, restricting gatherings—is working and we must remain steadfast to achieve our goal.
At VGS, we will be in the fight against Covid-19 until the end. From the first days of the pandemic, VGS has done its part to continue to serve you safe, reliable, and affordable energy. Our employees take pride in putting our customers’ safety and satisfaction first by adhering to Covid-19 protocols, wearing PPE, and take necessary steps to stay healthy and safe. We have closely followed the Governor’s orders and Health Department guidance and will continue to do so until State leaders signal that Vermont is out of the woods.
As a company, instead of pulling back during Covid-19, VGS has leaned forward and continued our transformation to better serve customers in the decades to come. With our Climate Action Plan, we recognize our role in fighting climate change and have been advancing new initiatives to reduce the carbon profile of our services while maintaining the safety and affordability of our product. Here is a quick look to the year ahead:
Affordability Matters: No one know what the true economic impact of Covid-19 will be, but we know many are hurting. We’re proud that VGS customers are paying 20% less today to heat their homes than they were just eight years ago. How many things in your life can you say that about? We have proven programs to help customers lower their bills, use less energy, and be more comfortable on the coldest days of the year. While we pursue energy innovation, we will never compromise safety and affordability. VGS is both pro-climate and pro-affordability. For Vermont to thrive, we cannot sacrifice one at the expense of the other. VGS will continue to advocate for both customer affordability and the economic vitality of Vermont without backing away from the fight to protect our planet.
Guided by Science: When the pandemic is over, another public health crisis will remain: climate change. If the virus acted like a wildfire, climate change is a slow burn—but both threaten to consume us unless we follow the science and take action. The pandemic has shown us new paths forward: people are working from home, traveling less, and doing more remotely, all of which help us reduce our emissions and carbon impact. VGS will stay committed to its vision of a decarbonized future, boosting home weatherization for customers, and pursuing a more renewable supply of thermal energy, including renewable natural gas. Our vision to be NetZero by 2050 is bold, far-reaching, and balances affordability by managing costs for our customers now and in the future.
Kindness Counts: We know so many families, businesses, and non-profits have suffered over the last nine months. But 2020 has shown us that being “Vermont Strong” is not just about being tough—it’s about being kind, showing up for our community, and helping neighbors in need. At VGS, our teams stepped up to make masks, donate much needed PPE to frontline first responders and medical personnel, buy lunches from local restaurants for our essential workers, take calls for the Department of Labor, provide Thanksgiving donations to the Chittenden Food Shelf, and donate boots and jackets to people experiencing homelessness this winter. We know many of you stepped up too. Thank you for your efforts. We’re proud to be part of this amazing community.
While we don’t know precisely what 2021 will bring, leading with heart will be important for all of us as we step into the new year. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you. We appreciate your confidence and support of our efforts to keep Vermont safe, warm, affordable, and climate-forward for generations to come.
Best wishes for safe and healthy new year.
Neale F. Lunderville
VGS President & CEO