SEON's Executive Director, Guy Payne meets with the Vermont General Attorney and the Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation to help lead the way: How Vermont's New Residential Contractor Registration Program is Driving Sustainable Construction with SEON's Help

Combating Home Improvement Fraud to Protect Homeowners: SEON on the Move to Ensure Sustainable Construction

SEON Leading the Way: How Vermont’s New Residential Contractor Registration Program is Driving Sustainable Construction with SEON’s Help

In a press conference held in the Vermont State House, the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) and the Vermont Attorney General’s Office announced new regulations to protect consumers from home improvement fraud by residential contractors. The new regulations require contractors working on construction projects with an estimated value of $10,000 or more, inclusive of labor and materials, to register with the state and maintain insurance and execute a written contract.

The press conference also featured Guy Payne, the Executive Director of Sustainable Energy Outreach Network (SEON), who spoke about the importance of certification for builders and carpenters in promoting sustainable practices and reducing home improvement fraud. Payne discussed the question of “Why Certification?” and provided answers for four different groups.

For homeowners, Payne emphasized the importance of builders and carpenters having the knowledge and skills to build to quality standards, including Vermont’s Energy Code. He highlighted the science and technology behind building and the need for continuous learning and certification. He noted that homeowners want to see evidence that builders and carpenters have engaged in continuous learning, have certifications, or have engaged in learning that leads to certification.

For builders and carpenters, Payne discussed the benefits of having evidence of continuous learning and being a highly educated and skilled team capable of anticipating problems and identifying solutions. He also emphasized the desire among professionals to be a master of their craft and how certification is an acknowledgment of this.

For state agencies, Payne discussed the need to recruit aspiring carpenters to Vermont and train them in high-performance building practices. He highlighted the importance of having thought leaders and high-performance builders ready to mentor the next generation.

For the environment, Payne discussed the need to build in a way that eliminates greenhouse gas emissions and reduces energy use in residential buildings. He emphasized the need for a workforce with the knowledge and skills to meet this challenge and do the work because it is the right thing to do.

SEON’s involvement in the press conference was key to promoting certification and sustainable practices in the construction industry. By providing training and educational resources in renewable energy and energy efficiency, SEON is helping to create a workforce capable of meeting the challenges of building sustainable, high-performance homes in Vermont.

SEON’s mission is to expand the essential knowledge base of high-performance building professionals and engage the community to build a clean economy. The organization seeks to create systems of education on renewable energy and energy efficiency for incumbent and entry-level energy practitioners, complementary professionals, as well as students and the general public. SEON promotes the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, products, services, and processes by representing the assets of the region to entrepreneurs and companies interested in relocating to this region, identifying market niches, and assisting the formation of partnerships.

SEON recognizes the criticality of the interrelatedness and interdependence of all organizations and systems that make up our economic, energy, and environmental future, and commits to fostering the relationships that will bring about sustainable change.

By focusing on education and training, SEON is helping to build a sustainable future for Vermont’s construction industry. With the new regulations requiring contractors to register with the state, SEON’s role in promoting certification and sustainable practices is more important than ever. Homeowners can trust that SEON-certified builders and carpenters have the knowledge and skills to build to quality standards, while state agencies can rely on SEON to recruit and train aspiring carpenters to become thought leaders and high-performance builders.

If you’re looking to build or retrofit a home in Vermont or New England, we highly recommend you look at our list of high performance building experts.

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