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Elliott Curtin lives faith through energy efficiency work

Elliott Curtin of St. Augustine Church in Montpelier makes part of his living caring for the Earth.
But it’s more of a way of life and an expression of faith for the owner of Weatherization and Renovation of Montpelier.
He said Pope Francis, author of the encyclical “Laudato Si': On Care For Our Common Home,” is his “favorite pope because he is the most environmental pope we’ve had.”
Through his business, the Gulf War veteran helps people make their homes and commercial buildings more weather tight and more energy efficient. “We make people more comfortable in their buildings and save them money on their heating and cooling costs,” he said.
This is done through energy audits and recommendations for making the buildings tighter and more energy efficient.
“It’s my faith that helps me temper my business decisions,” said Curtin who also is a landlord. “It’s my faith that helps me to put people first. My faith helps me to try to see how other people are living.”
Many people are taking care for the environment seriously, but, sadly, some cannot afford to make helpful changes to their buildings. For them, Curtin recommends seeking help from organizations like Efficiency Vermont. “Most people would do more but have limited budgets,” he said.
The married father of four children ages 9 to 16, Curtin also helps those in need by volunteering in the soup kitchen at St. Augustine Church, where he is a religious education teacher.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., and 1999 graduate of the University of Lowell (Massachusetts) with a bachelor’s degree in industrial management, he said he enjoys doing the energy audits and making energy recommendations because it gives him “an awesome” way to help others.
“The more homes and commercial buildings are insulated and air sealed, the more it reduces consumption of fossil fuels and benefits the environment,” he said.
Weatherization and Renovation of Montpelier employs five people, including Curtin.
“He wouldn’t be involved in a business that didn’t help people. He wants to help them as individuals … and to be a better steward of the environment,” commented Jo Ann Gibbons, operations and finance director for Weatherization and Renovation of Montpelier who attends St. Augustine Church. “Everything he does is to help and care for everyone. That’s his nature. Being a steward of the environment in his work is a natural.”

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Energy efficiency at Mount St. Joseph Academy

Mount St. Joseph Academy in Rutland is becoming more energy efficient, and that effort has gotten a boost from two bequests.
The bequests from alumni total more than $200,000.
“MSJ is looking to become more energy efficient. We have zeroed in on improving our heat efficiency by purchasing temperature controls, in particular for our gym,” explained Principal Sarah Fortier.
In addition, new doors for the gym that will not allow heat to escape will be purchased and heat loss because of large windows will be addressed.
The school will have an energy audit to help determine other areas of concern.
Mount St. Joseph Academy has been focused on energy efficiency for the past year.
“I am focused on preserving energy because how we treat our environment now will affect the children of the future,” said Fortier, who has been principal since 2014.
She mentioned a quote displayed in the school that states, "We did not inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrowed it from our children."
“I don't think a truer statement could be made. We need to make these changes so that the future is preserved environmentally for the generations to come,” she commented.
She said it is time for the school to make environmentally friendly changes. “There is no need to waste fuel for example. Fuel is a natural resource. As Catholics we believe in preserving the environment. Making changes to the building that will help do just that is not only providing a positive example to our students but it is also practicing our Catholic faith,” she said.
Through the energy-saving measures, the school has been “substantially cutting down on fuel costs,” Fortier said. “It is about more than saving money. It is about practicing our Catholic ideals. We are called to take care of the Earth. Making changes to the building that help us to do this shows that we care about the future.”
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