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Vermonts Energy Future Its Our Choice

Talking Clean, Affordable Energy at Town Meeting and with Your Legislators

Tomorrow’s Town Meeting Day underscores the power of people’s voices in making important decisions. There are many big issues that communities across the state will discuss. It’s our hope that people who share VNRC’s commitment to helping Vermonters save energy (and money!) through efficiency, advancing renewable solutions and stopping the development and deployment of dirty energy will make your voice heard at town meeting — and with your lawmakers.

There are three initiatives that your community members — and your legislators — need to hear about from you tomorrow or this week to ensure we move forward on essential, clean energy solutions. They are:

  • Boosting heating efficiency in our homes and our buildings. We have an opportunity this year to help Vermonters stop hemorrhaging heat and money by fully funding heating efficiency programs. Efficiency saves money, makes homes more comfortable and is one of the biggest investments Vermont can make to reduce our contribution to climate change. Communities are getting active by participating in the Vermont Home Energy Challenge (and you can too!) but lawmakers must hear loud and clear that the state must act now to fully fund heating efficiency programs. Ask your legislator to support H.216 and a sufficient funding source for heating efficiency. Find out more about the issue and contact your legislator.
  • Stopping the transport of dirty, dangerous tar sands across Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. There are resolutions in many Vermont towns to prevent tar sands oil from passing through Vermont. There is also a bill — H.27 — designed to strengthen Vermont’s hand in using Act 250 to regulate or stop any effort to move this dirty fuel through Vermont. Find out more about the tar sands resolution initiative and see if there’s a tar sands vote in your town by visiting 350Vermont. Read more about the proactive legislative effort, VNRC’s thoughts on it and weigh in here.
  • Maintaining a Strong Commitment to Renewables. The Senate is exploring a bill that would undermine Vermont’s commitment to clean energy. While S.30 no longer includes a moratorium on wind energy generation, it does include provisions that would drastically change how we regulate and meet Vermont’s energy needs. While the new S.30 includes some good ideas — including strengthening the role of regional planning in energy siting and development — the bill goes too far and could have detrimental implications for developing distributed renewable energy in Vermont. A solution is needed to help Vermonters better plan for and accommodate energy development, and it’s VNRC’s hope that the Energy Generation Siting Policy Commision’s work will inform that. This commission is knee deep in analyzing and making recommendations about how Vermont might amend its regulatory structure to the state sites wind — and all electrical generation — right. Learn more about the siting commission’s work, see their DRAFT options paper and weigh in on their efforts.

Making your voice heard on these issues tomorrow is important, so thanks in advance for standing up for clean energy at town meeting and with your legislators! If you don’t catch your state representatives or state senators tomorrow, please do contact them and let them know you hope they will 1) support a fully-funded commitment to heating efficiency, 2) stop the transport of tar sands across Vermont and 3) maintain our commitment to renewable energy in Vermont.