9/2/2020 Senate's Energy Efficiency Bill Is Passed by the House

The House has passed a bill that allows Vermont's Energy Efficiency

utilities, Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric Department, to expand the money-saving services they deliver to Vermonters. It broadens their energy efficiency mandate to include helping Vermonters save on their heating and transportation costs, not just electricity bills. As such, it allows the testing and development of new strategies to achieve our climate goals while saving Vermont families and businesses money.

These strategies will be tested in small pilot programs for 3 years, and funded out of existing revenues with no increase in electric rates.  


Program funding is limited to no more than $2 million (less than 5%) of existing revenues — in fact the overall electric efficiency budget for the three-year pilot period is required to stay at or below the current three-year period, or else the pilot programs will be discontinued.  Though targeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the bill, S.337, stipulates that programs must have a nexus to electricity — essentially this means encouraging "beneficial electrification," or replacing high-GHG fossil fuel use with low-GHG electricity.  

Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric Department must consult with State agencies to avoid duplicating programs.  They must also cooperate with other utilities, and the pilot programs must complement and not replace or compete with utility programs.  The programs must maximize cost-effective GHG reductions, and must be delivered statewide and reasonably proportional to electric efficiency charges collected in each utility territory.