Public Service Department Commissioner Christopher Recchia announced the release of the Thermal Efficiency Task Force (TETF) report to the Vermont Legislature. This report was created to recommend specific actions and initiatives that will guide the State in meeting the state building efficiency goals, improve its energy and economic security, create local jobs, and reduce environmental impacts.
In a report set to hit lawmakers’ desks later this month, a coalition of efficiency advocates and energy experts will ask the Legislature to raise more than $275 million over the next seven years to weatherize 62,000 Vermont homes.
Amid concerns from some Vermonters about the health effects of smart meters, thousands of residents are telling the state’s largest electric utility thanks but no thanks when it comes to having the wireless digital devices installed on their businesses or homes.
Efficiency Vermont launched the Energy Leadership Challenge, a new initiative to reduce the energy consumption of the state's leading businesses and institutions over the next two years. Governor Shumlin strongly supported the program at its launch. "There's no cheaper kilowatt than the one you don't use," he said.
State utility regulators say an industrial sized wind farm is in the state's best interest. A major victory for the Kingdom Community Wind Project -- a joint effort of Green Mountain Power and the Vermont Electric Co-op.Link to full article
The Shumlin administration hopes to ease some of the controversy over wind energy by identifying what areas should be off limits to energy developers.Link to full article
The Jan. 30 front page of the Burlington Free Press featured a dramatic visual simulation of the Kingdom Community Wind turbines. The image showed 17 wind towers dominating a mountaintop in Lowell.Link to full article
In his effort to "win the future," Pres. Barack Obama is proposing two new energy-efficiency programs that mirror legislation introduced in the last Congress by Rep. Peter Welch.Link to full article
State biologists have raised questions about how a wind energy development planned for the Lowell mountain range in the Northeast Kingdom might affect wildlife in the region.Link to full article
Is biomass the solution to Vermont’s energy problems or the next big threat to our health and environment? Virtually every candidate in the recent governor’s race — including Republican Brian Dubie — championed the idea of burning wood for heat and electricity as a clean and renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Plus, biomass can provide crucial base-load electric power — something neither intermittent wind nor solar power can do.Link to full article
The Vermont State Department of Buildings and General Services and Efficiency Vermont recently collaborated on the expansion and renovation of the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA) building in Middlesex. The building preserves some of the State’s most important public documents in an energy-efficient building that also will generate long-term savings for taxpayers. Former Secretary of State, Governor Jim Douglas was an ardent supporter of this project and he was joined by legislators Senator Phil Scott and Representative Alice Emmons in dedicating this state-of-the-art building in May of this year.Link to full article
A "cap-and-trade" climate-change proposal is stalled in Washington. But a similar program has been up and running in ten states from Maine to Delaware for two years. The goal is to make polluters pay while raising hundreds of million of dollars for conservation. Yet critics say some states are using the revenue to shore up their budgets, rather than to conserve energy.Link to full article
The Public Service Board has given final approval for Central Vermont Public Service Corp. to move forward with a $60 million investment that will transform the way customers use their electricity. Dubbed SmartPower, CVPS will replace all 160,000 meters with ones that will allow customers to control how much electricity they use. “The prospect that consumers across Vermont and New England will be able to respond to price signals and thus reduce peak demand over time is a central benefit of the Smart Grid and AMI (alternative metering infrastructure) specifically,” the PSB wrote in its Aug. 6 decision.Link to full article
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund has awarded $334,765 in grant funds to develop local biofuels and foster the development of a viable biomass-to-biofuels industry in Vermont that uses local resources to replace petroleum with renewable alternatives. Ellen Kahler, VSJF Executive Director, stated that the “catastrophe of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is yet another reminder of the consequences of our dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels for energy. As the devastating ecological, cultural, and economic consequences of the spill unfold in the Gulf of Mexico, Vermont is continuing to explore opportunities for entrepreneurs, farmers, educators and others to develop renewable, sustainable energy alternatives. “Link to full article