Thomas Mott Homestead Bed & Breakfast, Alburg, Vermont
4,200 Sq. Feet lodging
Annual Cash Savings: $10,000
Annual Energy Savings: 140,000 kWh
Payback period: 6 years
Prevented 240,000 lbs. of pollution
At the mouth of the Missisquoi River, on Lake Champlain’s northern shore in Alburg, VT, sits the Thomas Mott Homestead Bed & Breakfast — a delightful, five-guest room, fully restored, pre-Civil War house that is not only charming, but also energy efficient. For its efforts to save energy while increasing profits, the bed and breakfast has received a 2000 ENERGY STAR for small business Award.
Thanks to the efforts of Patrick Schallert, president of the company, the inn has dramatically lowered its energy cost while becoming even more comfortable and attractive to guests.
The inn was originally a farmhouse that was constructed in 1838. During the recent renovation of the building, Schallert opened all of the interior and exterior walls and filled them with insulation. All of the aluminum wiring was removed and replaced with copper wiring.
That was a good start to making the building tighter to prevent heat loss in the winter and cool air loss in the summer. But Schallert was just getting started. He replaced 39 double sliding glass windows and replaced them with highly efficient windows designed to minimize heat loss.
Now that the inn was tighter and less drafty, Schallert was ready to move on to the next stage.
Sometime in the early part of this century, electric baseboards were installed to provide heating. Although in its day this technology was a viable way to heat buildings, by today’s standards it’s highly inefficient. Schallert switched to a continuous flow hot water system with a state-of-the-art boiler. He also converted the inn’s cooking facilities from electric to gas.
But Schallert wasn’t done yet. He also retrofitted highly efficient compact fluorescent lamps and planted trees to provide shade and reduce heating costs in the winter.
The results of Schallert’s efforts? In 1991, the inn spent $9,362 on electricity. In 1999, after the renovations were completed, the electricity bill was $1,370. Combine the savings from renovations with money saved on oil purchases, which, in addition to electric baseboards, was used to heat the inn, and Schallert’s total annual savings are approximately $10,000.
The journey to an energy efficient inn was not all-smooth sailing, however. At first, Schallert removed the 39 glass windows, installed insulation around the frames, and replaced the windows. It didn’t work, and Schallert had to remove the windows again. This time he used highly efficient glass windows. “I hate to do a job twice!” Schallert says.
His advice? “Do it right the first time by using the best materials…so you will never have to do it again.”
Now the inn is not only saving thousands of dollars a year on energy costs, it’s become more comfortable for its guests.
To learn more about this beautiful bed and breakfast that boasts a perfect view of Mt. Mansfield, check out its Web site at http://www.thomas-mott-bb.com.
Thomas Mott Bed & Breakfast — a great vacation for its guests, an ENERGY STAR for Small Business value for its owner.