If we are to meet Vermont’s important and interrelated goals, we have a lot of work to do over the next 8-10 years. As of 2016, the share of Vermont’s total energy need met with renewable sources was approximately 16%, substantially lower than its 2025 goal of 25%. As of 2013, Vermont’s GHG emissions had increased 4% from 1990 levels and decreased 11% from 2005 levels, again lower than the Paris Agreement commitment of a 26-28% decrease by 2025 and lower than Vermont’s statutory goal of 50% reductions below 1990 levels. In summary, we will need creative and collective action to further bend the curve toward these important energy and climate goals.
The Vermont Energy & Climate Summit was a full-day gathering of Vermont leaders. These leaders discussed where is Vermont in meeting its climate and energy goals? What efforts have been made thus far— and what more needs to be done?
Jared Duval, Executive Director, Energy Action Network
Neale Lunderville, General Manager, Burlington Electric Department
Mayor Miro Weinberger
Governor Phil Scott
The Vermont Energy & Emissions Picture: Getting to 2025 Goals
Moderator: Linda McGinnis, Program Director, Energy Action Network
Leigh Seddon, Board Chair, Energy Action Network
Jon Erickson, University of Vermont (View as a PDF)
Climate Pledges & Energy Actions
Moderator: Jennifer Green, Vermont Climate Pledge Coalition
Presentation of Anne and Arthur Berndt Award to Peter Bourne (video)
Presented by Ellen Kahler, Executive Director, VT Sustainable Jobs Fund
Featured Energy/Climate Pitches
Moderators: Paul Costello, Co-Chair, Vermont Climate Action Commission & Peter Walke, Co-Chair, Vermont Climate Action Commission
Pitches: Part 1
Charge Ahead Vermont: Electric Vehicle Transformation Dave Roberts, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Plug-in electric vehicles powered by renewable energy will provide major reductions in Vermonters’ fossil fuel consumption and associated harmful emissions while lowering household expenses; we can address key barriers to accelerate this transformation by decreasing purchase costs, increasing charging infrastructure and boosting consumer awareness of EVs.
Big Buses, Big Opportunity: How Electric Buses Support Cleaner Air, Healthier Kids, and Lower Costs Abby Bleything, Vermont Clean Cities Coalition & Cara Robechek, Vermont Energy Education Program, representing Transportation for Vermonters
Vermont should leverage investment in replacing inefficient and dirty diesel buses with an electric bus fleet. Taking this action would reduce the impacts of air pollution on our most vulnerable populations, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and keep more of Vermonters’ money in the local economy.
Cap, Trade, and Invest: Transportation Mary Peterson, Tax Attorney & Daniel Gatti, Union of Concerned Scientists
Vermont should extend its successful experience in using emissions trading to its largest emissions sector, transportation; an approach that lowers emissions, lowers costs over the long run, and is an economic driver leveraging a sustainable revenue stream for critical investments.
Home-Grown Renewable Heat: Strategies for Achieving Multiple Benefits Ansley Bloomer, Renewable Energy Vermont & Maura Adams, Northern Forest Center
Making advanced wood heating systems more affordable, supporting supply side infrastructure, and ensuring a well-trained wood heat workforce will help sustain Vermont’s most broadly beneficial renewable heating option.
Using “Feebates” to Drive Cleaner Energy Choices Richard Faesy, Energy Futures Group
“Feebates” impose a fee on inefficient equipment while rebating (or tax-exempting) efficient equipment, and can be used as a revenue-neutral approach to provide price signals to consumers to encourage making the right choice when purchasing heating or hot water equipment, vehicles, homes or even mortgages.
Renewable Fuels Standard John Quinney, Energy Co-op of Vermont
A renewable fuels standard would require Vermont’s fuel industry to increasingly sell biofuels (for heating oil, propane, and natural gas) and biomass to offset the amount of fossil fuels we burn, eventually achieving 90% biofuels by 2050.
Warm Home Bonds Neale Lunderville, Burlington Electric Department
“Warm Home” bonds would fund $100,000,000 in weatherization work for low-income Vermonters over the next three years – or about 10,000 homes. It would use about $7.5M in Gross Receipts Tax now directed to the Wx program to fund a 20-yr revenue bond. As more low-income homes are weatherized the LIHEAP need should diminish, and Vermont would ask Feds to use 25% of LIHEAP money for Wx (vs current 15%)
Pitches: Part 2
Sustainable Energy for Vermonters: Overcoming Barriers to Low-Income Access to Meet VT’s 2025 Energy & Climate Goals Christa Shute, Institute for Energy and the Environment, Energy Clinic, Vermont Law School
Low-income Vermonters comprise over 25% of our population. They deserve to benefit from the financial savings and price stability of net-metered solar and efficiency investments. Vermont can promote participation from this needed sector through low-income adders; consumer protected on-bill financing; green clauses; and education/training/workforce development.
Harnessing Energy Storage for Local Clean Energy, Jobs, and Grid Resiliency in Vermont Nathan Wyeth, Sunrun & Richard Morin, Dynapower
By incentivizing residences, businesses, and utilities to build a network of distributed energy resources that link our grid with renewable energy and energy storage installations throughout the state, Vermont can save ratepayers millions, reduce our carbon footprint and create sustainable jobs that boost Vermont’s economy for years to come.
Vermont Climate Action Communities Abby Friedman, Vermont League of Cities & Towns
The Vermont Climate Action Communities program will help municipalities achieve deep energy savings, improve resilience, and transition to a clean energy economy and provide locally-supported renewable energy generation for municipalities and the communities they serve.
Emphasize and Improve Tier III Dan Mellinger, Energy Futures Group
Improve Tier III by addressing the implementation challenges between the DUs and the EEU; quantify the Tier III impact on fossil fuel use and electric rates through a 2019 evaluation; and build support towards the Tier III goals.
Heat and Transportation Efficiency Utilities Anne Watson, Montpelier City Councilor
Let’s expand the mission of our current efficiency utilities or create new ones to cover #2 Fuel Oil, Propane, and Transportation.
The ESSEX Plan: An Economy-Strengthening Strategic Energy eXchange Ashley Orgain, et al, Seventh Generation, and Friends
A Vermont-specific, future-oriented economic development strategy to strengthen the economy, prioritize the most vulnerable, and harness the power of the market to reduce carbon pollution and help the state meet its climate and clean energy goals.
Bending the Curve: Meeting our Energy Milestones
Moderator: Darren Springer, COO, Burlington Electric Department
Mary Powell, President & CEO, Green Mountain Power
Karen Glitman, Director, Efficiency Vermont
Riley Allen, Deputy Commissioner, Vermont Public Service Department
Adam Sherman, Senior Consultant, Biomass Energy Resource Center
Jared Duval, Executive Director, Energy Action Network