Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, in partnership with Vermont Housing & Conservation Board and Champlain Housing Trust, has received a $350,000 grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The two-year grant will be used to demonstrate how deep energy efficiency retrofits in single- and multi-family residences can make housing permanently and comprehensively affordable by reducing energy usage and costs.In addition to establishing energy usage as a significant component of housing affordability, the project will also show how various sources of government funding might be harnessed to finance energy efficiency retrofits.‘This exciting partnership will help us to demonstrate how deep investment in energy efficiency can support housing affordability,’ said Scott Johnstone, Executive Director of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. ‘This is a win-win project that will provide a roadmap for achieving the twin goals of reducing energy usage and addressing the need for affordable housing in our community.’The project will target at least five single-family residences for deep energy efficiency improvements. The goal of these improvements is to achieve energy savings of at least 50%, and potentially much higher. The homes, recently acquired following foreclosure, will then be sold to low-income households and be made permanently affordable through the Champlain Housing Trust’s programs.Three multi-family buildings in West Rutland, Enosburg, and Windsor, financed in part by the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, will receive substantial energy efficiency improvements, again targeting energy savings of at least 50%.‘This is an exciting time in building energy science and this funding will help us determine what level of energy retrofit measures makes financial sense for permanently affordable rental housing. We are grateful for the opportunity presented by this generous award and will apply the findings to increase energy efficiency in Vermont’s portfolio of multi-family housing,’ said Gus Seelig, Executive Director of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.A comprehensive set of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures will enable the expected very high level of projected energy savings. These will include building shell improvements such as air sealing and insulation; heating system improvements such as advanced control biomass heating systems; electrical efficiency improvements such as super-efficient LED lighting; and renewable energy systems such as solar domestic hot water heating systems.‘We are thrilled to collaborate with these two partners to demonstrate how effective, targeted use of resources can create lasting assets for low-income households and our communities,’ said Brenda Torpy, Chief Executive Officer of the Champlain Housing Trust.This project was one of nine projects selected to receive funding through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s national competition soliciting ideas for scalable approaches to spurring energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings in the United States. Launched in April 2010, the selection process was highly competitive, with 372 pre-proposals submitted by organizations in 44 states. The process included review by a panel of experts in real estate, finance, construction, efficiency technologies and government policies. More information on the competition can be found at www.ddcf.org/retrofits(link is external).About VEICThe Vermont Energy Investment Corporation is a mission-driven nonprofit organization, founded in 1986, dedicated to reducing the economic, social, and environmental costs of energy consumption through cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. VEIC has consulted in 25 states, 6 Canadian Provinces and 7 countries outside North America to design programs that reduce energy use through energy efficiency and renewable energy. In addition, VEIC operates Efficiency Vermont ‘ the nation’s first statewide energy efficiency utility ‘ as well as other implementation services across the country. For more information: www.veic.org(link is external)About VHCBThe Vermont Housing and Conservation Board is an independent, state funding agency providing grants, loans and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, municipalities and state agencies for the development of permanently affordable housing and for the conservation of important agricultural land, recreational land, natural areas and historic properties in Vermont. www.vhcb.org(link is external)About Champlain Housing TrustThe Champlain Housing Trust, founded in 1984, is the largest community land trust in the country. Throughout Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, CHT owns or manages over 1,500 apartments, stewards 485 owner-occupied homes in its signature shared-equity program, provides services to five housing cooperatives, and offers affordable energy efficiency and rehab loans. In 2008, CHT won the prestigious United Nations World Habitat Award, recognizing its innovative, sustainable programs.About the Doris Duke Charitable FoundationEstablished in 1996, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation seeks to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The foundation’s Environment Program focuses on enabling communities to protect and manage wildlife habitat and create efficient built environments.
Week 15 Fantasy Busts: DefensesPittsburgh Steelers vs. Bills (Heyen). I couldn’t really arrive at a great bust defense this week, so I’ll play on the narrative that Josh Allen’s been better at protecting the ball and has enough weapons to put points up in Pittsburgh on Sunday night.Minnesota Vikings @ Chargers (Iyer). This is a trap for a long road trip on the flip side of a serious potential upset.Chicago Bears @ Packers (Lutovsky). Even though we like the Bears to limit Aaron Rodgers, we don’t think it will completely shut down the Packers offense or force many turnovers. It’s been mediocre most of the year, and the Packers don’t make many mistakes, so this is a low-upside play. WEEK 15 NON-PPR RANKINGS: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerYou guys made it too easy for us to get one particular bust call right last week: Darwin Thompson was always unlikely to have a good game against a strong Pats’ defense, but fantasy owners swooned over him. We weren’t as right about Mostert, who simply proved that he’s the man to own in the San Francisco backfield, but as we already said, we’re going back to that well. The Chris Carson bust call also backfired, with Rashaad Penny’s knee injury really freeing him up to shine.WEEK 15 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endDon’t even get us started on the Drew Brees bust pick — if you sat him, we’re very sorry. Those six touchdowns were undoubtedly tough to stomach on your bench. At least we got the Marquise Brown and Brandin Cooks bust picks right, and Mark Andrews’ injury helped us get that right, too. MORE WEEK 15: Sleepers | Start ’em, sit ’emWeek 15 Fantasy Busts: Running backsDevonta Freeman, Falcons @ 49ers (Billy Heyen). It’s not hard to figure out that starting a player against the 49ers is risky, even after they just gave up more than 40 points to the Saints. The more pertinent information is that Alvin Kamara didn’t have a big game, and neither will Freeman. Adrian Peterson, Redskins @ Eagles (Vinnie Iyer). The Eagles are very hard to run on, especially with a power runner, and Peterson should be shut down with more of Chris Thompson in the mix.Raheem Mostert, 49ers vs. Falcons (Matt Lutovsky). Everything is pointing in Mostert’s direction. He’s scored in three straight games, dominating RB snaps in each of the past two. The Falcons also aren’t a very good defense, and this feels like a game the 49ers should win easily, which would presumably create more second-half carries for Mostert. But we just have a bad feeling. Despite his snap advantage, he had just five more touches than Matt Breida last week, and it’s worth noting that one of his TDs came on a trick play where he caught a pass from Emmanuel Sanders. The Falcons are actually decent against RBs (tied for 20th in fantasy points allowed), and the game flow might actually lead to Mostert sitting more in the second half if he’s not needed. Plus, do you really think he’s going to score four games in a row? By no means is Mostert a “must-sit”, but there are more worries here than you might initially realize. MORE WEEK 15:Waiver pickups | FAAB planner | Stock watch | Snap counts | Fantasy playoff tipsWeek 15 Fantasy Football Busts: QuarterbacksJimmy Garoppolo, 49ers vs. Falcons (Heyen). This isn’t so much me expecting Garoppolo to have a bad game. Rather, I worry that people are too all-in on the idea that Garoppolo will throw enough to make this great matchup matter. Sure, he could find his way to three touchdowns, but I don’t expect a game like last week.Josh Allen, Steelers vs. Bills (Iyer). You need to keep him parked against a tougher defense than he faced last week.Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Bears (Lutovsky). Rodgers has had fewer than two TDs in four of the past five games, and he’s failed to top 243 yards in any of the games in that span. He has a history of lighting up the Bears, but that didn’t carry over to Week 1 this year (203 yards, one TD). The Bears have remained stout against QBs most of the year (13.9 fantasy points per game in four-point passing touchdown leagues), so it’s tough to be excited about Rodgers here.Week 15 Fantasy Football Busts: Wide receiversAllen Robinson, Bears @ Packers (Heyen). Robinson should probably get the Jaire Alexander treatment, which more often than not has led to quiet WR games. This could be a game where the targets swing back in Anthony Miller’s favor.Stefon Diggs, Vikings @ Chargers (Iyer). You may need to use him in seasonal, but he’s going to get old NFC North friend Casey Hayward, and the Bolts’ defense can bolt him down.James Washignton/Diontae Johnson, Steelers vs. Bills (Lutovsky). Only one team allows fewer fantasy points to WRs than the Bills this year, so it’s foolish to gamble on a coin-flip WR like Washington or Johnson. WEEK 15 DFS LINEUPS:FD Cash | FD GPP | DK Cash | DK GPP | Y! Cash | Y! GPPWeek 15 Fantasy Football Busts: Tight endsDavid Njoku, Browns @ Cardinals (Heyen). Njoku has been dealing with a knee injury all week, and he had surprisingly little usage in his first game back from a wrist injury last week. Arizona is the best matchup for any TE, but Njoku might not get enough targets for it to matter.Jacob Hollister, Seahawks @ Panthers (Iyer). With Luke Kuechly and their safeties, the Panthers have been typically good in this kind of coverage.Kyle Rudolph, Vikings @ Chargers (Lutovsky). Rudolph’s TD streak came to an end last week, as he received just two targets and posted 11 yards. It’s tempting to use him as long as Adam Thielen (hamstring) is out, but against the Chargers, who allow just 6.5 non-PPR fantasy points per game to TEs, he offers more risk than reward. MORE WEEK 15 DFS: Values | Stacks | Lineup Builder Sorry, Adrian Peterson. Week 15 has the potential to start your last hurrah with Derrius Guice out, but our Week 15 busts list doesn’t think so. The Eagles just aren’t a good matchup for the future Hall of Famer, and while he should get the workload, the numbers probably won’t follow. The same could be true of Aaron Rodgers, and while not a future HOFer, popular waiver pickup Raheem Mostert might also be on the unhappy side of the fantasy start ’em, sit ’em bubble.We’re also concerned about usual fantasy starters, such as Devonta Freeman (@ 49ers) and Josh Allen (@ Steelers). Injuries combined with bad matchups could spoil the week for early-season fantasy stalwarts JuJu Smith-Schuster and Evan Engram, too. (Update: Injuries already spoiled the week for them because they’re both officially out.)