Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) today announced the launch of a new electronic device incentive program in which VEC members who purchase certain types of equipment can be entered into a monthly drawing to win a $100 bill credit.

VEC’s “ChargeItUp” program is a way for VEC members who buy electricity-powered tools such as yard care equipment and other devices that have been traditionally powered by fossil fuels, to have a chance to win the bill credit and share their experience with the equipment.

“Battery-powered equipment – whether it’s a weed whacker, a hedge trimmer or a chainsaw – and even other equipment, is generally cleaner, more climate-friendly, cheaper to run, and more convenient, than similar fossil-fuel counterparts,” said Jake Brown, energy services planner for VEC.

Brown also noted that battery technology is improving, so on-the-ground performance of these and other devices is improving, too.

The ChargeItUp program is loosely related to VEC’s Energy Transformation Program in that it offers an incentive for the purchase of electricity-powered devices that displace fossil fuels like gasoline or diesel fuel. Under the Energy Transformation Program, VEC offers one-time guaranteed bill credits to members who purchase larger-ticket items such as electric vehicles (EVS), cold climate heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, pellet stoves, and more.

 

ChargeItUp Program Specifics

VEC members who buy, or already own, an electric/battery powered device for which there is a similar fossil-fuel powered device on the market may submit entries into the ChargeItUp program. Submissions must include the member’s name and service address, a photo of the product and a brief written review of the member’s experience with it.

In submitting their entries, members agree to allow VEC to use the submitted materials for promotional purposes on social media, email newsletters, bill insert promotions, in hard-copy newsletters, and other channels.

 

Eligible Products, Winning

Eligible products are electric/battery powered devices for which a fossil-fuel powered alternative is commonly available in the marketplace. Eligible devices shall generally represent new/emerging battery/electric technology. Equipment could include but is not limited to:

yard care equipment including leaf blowers, chainsaws, hedge trimmers, weed whackers;
recreational equipment including e-bikes, golf carts, utility vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, outboard motors, go karts;
other items that may include outdoor cooking grills, induction cooktops etc.

Products for which VEC already offers an Energy Transformation Program incentive, such as electric vehicles, cold climate heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and pellet stoves are not eligible.

Winners for each ChargeItUp drawing will be selected at random every month, and bill credits for each winner will be awarded in the month after the drawing.

Entries may be submitted via an on-line form on this page or via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Northern Vermont University will begin the fall semester on Tuesday, August 18, one week earlier than planned, and end early with residential students returning home for Thanksgiving break and remote exams to complete the semester. This change to the academic calendar will best position NVU and its students, employees, and communities—in the event of an increase in COVID-19 cases or another wave in the fall.

“We know this is different from our normal semester,” says NVU President Elaine Collins. “The health of the entire NVU community is our number one priority as we prepare to return to campus for face-to-face instruction.”

Fall Orientation and campus move-in dates will stagger between August 14-17, allowing students the time and space they need to re-enter residence halls safely. Details about orientation and move-in will be announced as plans are finalized.

The accelerated semester includes no breaks, with instruction on Labor Day and throughout October. Students will exit residence halls on Friday, November 20, and return to campus when the spring semester begins on January 19, 2021. Remote final exams will be held November 30 through December 3. Students should plan to be off campus November 21, 2020 through January 18, 2021.

The adjusted fall semester will not affect the number of teaching and learning days. Students and faculty will have ample time to collaborate, create, and thrive in and out of the classroom.

NVU invites students within Vermont’s borders and beyond to consider NVU as an option to a gap year. With two rural campuses at Johnson and Lyndon and 19 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs offered through NVU Online, the university can help students keep their college degree plans on track when plans have changed due to the pandemic. On-campus and NVU Online degree programs and classes are available. Information is at NorthernVermont.edu/LookNorth.

“To prepare for potential scenarios caused by COVID-19, NVU faculty and staff are prepping for a variety of approaches to remote instruction,” says Provost Nolan Atkins. “We are going to be ready so we can support our students in case remote instruction becomes necessary for individual students, a class here or there, or for the university as a whole. We are also doing all we can during the pandemic to offer an on-campus fall semester and the early start to the academic year is a part of that.”

First-year students will be introduced to campus life through virtual SOAR (summer orientation) events starting July 1. Incoming students and families should visit NorthernVermont.edu/SOAR to learn more and register for upcoming virtual events.

NVU Online, NVU’s distance learning program, will start as planned on August 31 and proceed through the semester as scheduled. Those interested in NVU’s online programs should visit NorthernVermont.edu/Online.

NVU community members should expect updates on the accelerated semester, move-in dates, events, and more during the next two months as planning continues.

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ACT Announces Tentative Schedule for Rest of 2020 Season

 

The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) has announced a tentative schedule for the remainder of its 2020 racing season. The ACT Late Model Tour is planning up to 10 total events including last weekend’s opener. However, the schedule remains subject to change based on further developments related to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.

The next event on the provisional schedule is a trip to Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday, June 28 for a 150-lap event. Confirmation of whether this event will happen is expected by next Monday. The visit to Star Speedway that was slated for June 27 has been cancelled. Next, ACT will head to Groveton, NH’s Riverside Speedway on Saturday, July 11 for the Gardiner and June Leavitt Memorial 150. It will be ACT’s first visit to Riverside since 2018.

From late July to mid-September, ACT aims to follow the 2020 schedule as originally announced during the offseason. The Tour has a trip to Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway on Wednesday, July 29 for the Bay State Classic. ACT then makes its second visit to N. Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday, August 8 for the Midsummer Classic. Although ACT hopes to retain the event’s 250-lap, $10,000-to-win format, this may be subject to change based on state attendance guidelines.

After a two-week break, ACT will kick off its busiest stretch of the season with races on three straight weekends. The Tour returns to Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, August 29 for a 150-lap event the night before the Oxford 250. Next, ACT makes another visit to Thunder Road on Sunday, September 6 for the Labor Day Classic 200. The stretch concludes with the Full Throttle 75 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 12.

ACT also plans to add a third trip to Oxford on Saturday, October 17. The event would feature the season finale for the ACT Late Model Tour along with a 75-lap open show for the ACT Flying Tigers. The non-point Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road on Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4 also remains on the schedule.

One event that has yet to be rescheduled is the Community Bank N.A. 150 at Thunder Road, which was originally slated for early May. Both the track and series have elected to wait on a make-up date until more is known about the season ahead.

Officials stressed repeatedly that the schedule remains tentative and that events could still be added, removed, or postponed. Regardless, they are optimistic about finally getting the 35th ACT season in the books.

“We feel good about the schedule we’ve put together, as long as everything can happen as planned,” ACT managing partner Cris Michaud said. “There’s definitely been a lot of uncertainty over the last few months. While some of that uncertainty remains, we now at least have some hope for our racers and fans. Getting on the track last weekend at White Mountain felt great, and we’re looking forward to doing so many more times before the year ends.”

For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

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