The path to 90% by 2050 means new jobs, lower business costs and keeping dollars local.
How do we keep Vermont businesses competitive in our region? Low and stable energy costs are a vital factor. Vermont has shown that this can be done by leading the nation with investments and support for new clean energy and efficiency innovations. A more efficient and renewable energy future provides lower costs, creates jobs and attracts new business and investment in our state.
1. Vermont’s 2016 Clean Energy Industry Report (Clean Energy Development Fund)
2. US Energy Information Administration Electric Power Monthly Table 5.6.A
EAN members are a driving force for growing Vermont’s economy and lowering the cost of doing business.
Vermont’s electricity rates are the second lowest in New England (down from the highest in 2012). This helps keep our businesses competitive.
Action: Green Mountain Power reduced rates for all customers in 3 of the last 4 years. By comparison, since 2011, rates in New England rose 12.3%, with many utilities charging double digit increases in a single year.
Energy efficiency improvements helped hundreds of Vermont businesses dramatically reduce their operating expenditures, to the tune of $50 million per year since 2010. That’s money that can be reinvested in making our businesses grow.
Action: Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric Department provided incentives and technical assistance for Vermont businesses to make efficiency investments and reduce operating costs.
Switching to renewably-sourced energy brought more predictability and affordability to energy costs, compared to more volatile fossil fuel prices. Price stability helps businesses plan for the future with less risk.
Action: Encore Renewable Energy, SunCommon, Green Lantern Group, and Catamount Solar are some of the many solar companies helping Vermont businesses and municipalities save hundreds of thousands of dollars in electricity expenditures with predictable low rates through long-term solar contracts.
Largely because of Vermont’s success in expanding efficiency and locally-generated clean energy, hundreds of millions of dollars in planned transmission have been avoided.VELCO
Action: avoided building over $400 million in planned transmission projects, saving Vermont ratepayers approximately $72 million over 30 years.
The clean energy sector is the fastest growing jobs sector in the state, reaching an all-time high in 2016 – over 19,000 Vermonters – representing over 6% of the State’s workforce. More clean energy jobs mean more customers for other Vermont businesses.
Action: Employment in Vermont’s clean energy sector has grown by 29% since 2013, and 7.7% in the last year alone. EAN members are a core part of this job creation, leading to Vermont having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the US. These jobs range from local contractors doing weatherization to solar installers to modern wood heat dealers, jobs that help keep a rural economy going. For more information, click here.
In Vermont, we like to keep things local. Vermont currently sends more than $1 billion out of state for fossil fuels each year, whereas 80 cents on every dollar spent on weatherization stays in Vermont’s economy contributing to local businesses and jobs.
Action: VSECU, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, VEDA and Fresh Tracks Capital are among those providing low-cost financing and venture capital to invest in new clean energy businesses around the state.