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VNRC, VLCT Release Guidebooks to Help Communities Address Energy

VNRC recently released a set of new guidebooks that will help communities deal with the pressing issues regarding our energy future. VNRC developed the guidebooks in partnership with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.

“Vermonters are eager to help lead the state on its transition away from a fossil fuel-based economy to one based on renewable energy, conservation and efficiency. With the state’s well-developed planning framework, they are also well positioned,” said Johanna Miller, Energy Program Director at the Vermont Natural Resources Council. “Now, they also have some new tools.”
The set of publications outline how communities can comprehensively, systematically and aggressively address energy use and consumption. They are:
The Energy Planning and Implementation Guide for Vermont Municipalities — A step-by-step guide outlining how communities can use the energy element of their municipal plan to comprehensively address energy issues.
Communities Tackling Vermont’s Energy Challenges — A publication overviewing three dozen success story ‘snapshots’ of innovative, entrepreneurial and proactive approaches Vermonters are taking to help save money, reduce energy consumption, transition to renewables and combat climate change.
“These tools will greatly assist towns that want to incorporate energy issues in their town plans,” said Waterbury Selectboard Chair Rebecca Ellis. “The planning process provides a wonderful opportunity to engage citizens in shaping a vision for the future.  Once adopted, the Town Plan directs the community’s actions both with broad goals and specific objectives.  From conservation to efficiency to renewables, these publications will help communities who want to make a difference on energy.”
Waterbury LEAP (Local Energy Action Partnership) is one of roughly 100 town energy committees in Vermont.  Over the past four years LEAP volunteers have completed dozens of local projects that have helped Waterbury expand renewable energy opportunities, become more energy efficient, and reduce emissions. For example, last year LEAP raised funds to build solar arrays on two local schools, including Thatcher Brook Primary School. “This helped bring the concept of renewable energy and solar power to life for local students and teachers,” said Duncan McDougall, chair of LEAP. “We look forward to using many great ideas from the Energy Planning and Implementation Guide, and we hope some of our projects will inspire other towns.  Town energy committees are wonderful about sharing what they’ve learned with colleagues in other towns, and this guide is yet another great way to make that happen!”
Noted VNRC’s Miller: “We look forward to working even more closely with Vermont communities to use these guidance documents and help them map out a strategic plan of action; a plan that helps Vermonters save money, make their homes more comfortable and livable, create new, well-paying clean energy jobs by growing a robust renewable energy economy in the state and more.”
(Pictured in front of Waterbury’s Thatcher Brook Primary School are, from left to right: Waterbury Select Board Chair Rebecca Ellis; Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Karen Horn; Vermont Natural Resources Council Deputy Director Brian Shupe; and Waterbury LEAP energy committee members Jamie Ervin and Duncan McDougall (chair). Photo courtesy Vermont Natural Resources Council.)