Vermont Legislation Creates Initiatives to Cut emissions From Thermal Energy, Transportation Sectors

Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, signed legislation on Sept. 23, which directs energy efficiency funds to support emissions reduction measures in the thermal energy and transportation sectors for a period of three years.

The new law requires the Public Utility Commission to authorize an entity appointed to provide energy efficiency and conservation programs to spend up to $2 million of their annual budget for the 2021-2023 period on initiatives, measures, and services that reduce emissions in the thermal energy and transportation sectors. The requirement applies only if the entity’s total resource acquisition budget for the aforementioned period does not exceed the budget for 2018-2020. The programs must be complementary and not replace or compete with utility energy transformation projects, so that they yield the largest possible emissions reductions in a cost-effective manner.

Governor Scott commended lawmakers for passing the legislation, noting that electrification of transportation and heating are essential to the state’s efforts to lower carbon emissions, and could have positive impacts on energy affordability. In his State of the State address in January, Scott advocated for directing energy efficiency funds to support transportation electrification, a key strategy to achieve emission cuts.