Energy and Climate Legislation

2019 Legislative recap

H.63

The Legislature passed a bill (H.63) that the Governor signed in June 2019 which will invest several million additional dollars into weatherizing more low- and moderate-income Vermonters’ homes in the short-term, while requiring analysis by the Public Utility Commission of a longer-term approach to expanding energy efficiency programs.

Budget passage

In the 2019 session the budget was enacted, which includes at least $1.1 million in funding for electric vehicle incentives, plus additional resources for high-efficiency vehicles, which will be available to low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Both electric vehicle incentives and weatherization funding are modest but positive steps forward in investing in Vermonters to help them transition to cleaner and more efficient energy solutions.

Looking ahead

We will be working hard over the summer and fall to set the stage for enactment of more ambitious climate bills in 2020, including legislation to hold ourselves accountable to implementing the policies and making the investments needed to achieve our state’s climate pollution reduction goals. Here are some proposed solutions:

  • Double the number of low- and moderate-income homes weatherized every year.
  • Create an electric vehicle incentive program, prioritizing low- and middle-income Vermonters, using the $4.5 million in consumer protection VW settlement dollars (and related funds) as an initial investment, and direct the remaining federal VW settlement dollars to vehicle electrification.
  • Join other New England states in enacting a Global Warming Solutions Act to require progress on our climate commitments.
  • Expand the deployment of local renewable power to electrify more of our heating and transportation needs.
  • Prohibit the expansion of new large-scale industrial fossil fuel infrastructure, like pipelines – an expensive, shortsighted investment in a soon-to-be stranded asset.
  • Review the results of the impartial Joint Fiscal Office’s economic analysis on ways to cut carbon pollution across our economy and advance the policy that works best for Vermont to reduce emissions, grow jobs, and protect the most vulnerable.

Learn more about what’s happening on energy and climate change in the State House with our LIVE Climate Dispatch from the State House, posted every Friday of the legislative session. Click here to view the latest Dispatch, and sign up to receive the videos in your inbox by clicking here.