Using “Feebates” to Drive Cleaner Energy Choices
Richard Faesy, Energy Futures Group
“Feebates” impose a fee on inefficient equipment while rebating (or tax-exempting) efficient equipment, and can be used as a revenue-neutral approach to provide price signals to consumers to encourage making the right choice when purchasing heating or hot water equipment, vehicles, homes or even mortgages.
What if there was a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; displace fossil fuels with local, renewable energy; improve the health of Vermonters; and grow our State economy, all at the same time – and all without increasing the overall tax burden of Vermonters? There is: implementing a “fee and rebate” or “feebate” program for buildings, vehicles, and heating appliance purchases — providing rebates that lower the cost for consumers who make purchases of efficient and renewably heated homes, renewably powered vehicles (including electric and/or bio-fueled vehicles), and heating appliances (including advanced wood heat boilers and furnaces, efficient wood or pellet stoves, cold climate heat pumps, etc.). These rebates would be paid for by revenue from fees applied to the purchase of inefficient and fossil fueled buildings, fossil-fuel powered vehicles (ex. traditional gas and diesel engines) and fossil fuel heating appliances (ex. fuel oil, propane, and coal boilers, furnaces, and stoves). The total value of the rebates would be equal to the total amount of fee revenue collected, making the whole “feebate” program revenue-neutral. A fee on the purchase of inefficient and fossil-fueled homes, vehicles, and heating equipment would have a double-benefit of discouraging socially and environmentally harmful choices, while also providing funds to further incentivize and reward socially and environmentally beneficial choices that will help Vermont meet its statewide energy, emissions, health, and economic goals.
Submitted by: Richard Faesy, Energy Futures GroupEAN Pitch 42 - Equipment vs. Fuels- A Feebate Program to Make VT Heating More Renewable.output