NECEC supports Clean Heat Standard in Vermont

Vermont's Governor Phil Scott has pledged to veto a clean heating bill for the second consecutive legislative session. NECEC President Joe Curtatone has released this statement in support of overriding the Governor's veto and setting Vermont on a path toward decarbonizing its heating sector:

We are encouraged that the Vermont Legislature seems poised to override the veto of Governor Phil Scott to pass landmark Clean Heat Standard legislation. Residential, commercial and industrial fuel use–primarily from heating–is the second-leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in Vermont. The transition to clean heating is necessary and inevitable. This bill would generate two reports detailing the effects on household prices and the state economy of that transition. Then in January of 2025 Vermont’s Public Utilities Commission would propose rules, to be ratified by the Legislature, to make that transition happen.

This is the very model of measured government action, putting due diligence in front of new rules. Our suspicion is the reports will confirm that clean heating will be the more economical choice for residents moving forward and that it will create more jobs inside Vermont. Once those hurdles are cleared there really is no obstacle to a full paradigm shift with rules for individual heat pumps and networked heating systems. Most of all, there is no good reason not to find out whether this is a transition that can benefit households and the broader economy.

We’re sure there will be plenty of haggling when the rules get proposed in 2025, but those will be informed choices. Our organization and members look forward to being able to weigh in on the PUC’s proposed rules when they become available for public comment. This bill sets forth a plan to make a plan. It is an utterly reasonable approach and Vermont should move forward in putting that plan together. Vermont ultimately will transition away from fossil fuels to sustainable, clean heat, and there's no better time than now to start the process. The Legislature should take the initiative and chart a path to the future.

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