Recording of Presentations and Q&A

Includes closing thoughts on the first day of the 2020 Summit from EAN Executive Director Jared Duval.

2:30 Renewable Heat Standard

14:15 A New Future for Vermont Gas

24:30 Weatherization at Scale

32:50 Q&A

44:40 Closing Reflections

“Vermont’s Clean Heat Strategy (Part 1): the Renewable Heat Standard”

  • Presented by:  Richard Cowart and Rick Weston (RAP)
  • Summary: Heating buildings and hot water is expensive, imported fossil fuel is a drain on the economy, and fossil heat is now the second-largest source of climate pollution in Vermont. It will be impossible to meet our climate goals while still relying on fossil heating fuels. But we do have a model to work from: Renewable Portfolio Standards on electricity providers have led the transition to renewable electricity. Shouldn’t we now have an equivalent requirement on the providers of heating fuels? A Renewable Heat Standard (RHS) would ensure continuous improvement in the building stock, drive fuel-switching to renewable fuels (e.g., heat pumps, biofuels, advanced wood heat) and support new business models for Vermont’s heating companies. Details matter but we know it can be done.
  • Read Full Pitch Proposal

“Vermont’s Clean Heat Strategy (Part 2): A New Future for Vermont Gas” 

  • Presented by: Don Rendall (VGS) and Richard Cowart (RAP)
  • Summary: Because fossil gas is cleaner than coal, it is often called the bridge fuel to a low-carbon future. But climate science tells us that this bridge must be both short and narrow. Gas companies and their regulators must now create transition plans to decommission gas systems, convert customers to alternative fuels, and protect consumers and public safety as they make the transition. Vermont Gas Systems (VGS) is committed to a low-carbon future, and should be covered by the Vermont Renewable Heat Standard along with other heating providers. But managing costs and protecting customers in a network utility also requires regulatory innovations. Working with Vermont’s regulators and policy-makers VGS can create a model for the nation, showing how a gas company can switch from being a fossil fuel provider to a low-emissions energy service company. This initiative aims to create that model.
  • Read Full Pitch Proposal

“Healthy Homes, Happy Planet: Low- and Moderate-Income Weatherization at Scale”

  • Presented by: Ludy Biddle (Neighborworks of Western VT) and Neale Lunderville (VGS)
  • Summary: A warm home should not be a luxury, but for too many low and moderate Vermonters, under-insulated homes keep thermostats low, fuel bills high, and fossil fuel use unchanged. The framework of State’s ambitious climate goals is built on the foundation of energy efficiency, yet we have not mobilized the funds required to invest in weatherization at scale to shift the trajectory of our greenhouse gas emissions. We propose a massive recapitalization of Vermont’s Weatherization Trust Fund to fund more than 100,000 home retrofits for low and moderate income households over the next decade. The plan calls for an all-of-the-above funding plan to include: green bonds funded by a “pay as you save” approach and backed by a thermal fuels efficiency fee; direct investment by utilities, municipalities, and federal grant funding; and Freedom & Unity Bonds to allow ultra-low interest borrowing for eligible homeowners. In addition to the obvious direct customer and climate benefits, our proposal will improve health outcomes for customers, provide a measure of energy justice for often overlooked customers, and put Vermonters to work in good-paying energy jobs.
  • Read Full Pitch Proposal