The headline of the March 15th VT Digger article covering the release of EAN’s Annual Progress Report reads: “Curbing emissions could save Vermonters $800 million.” Let’s look at the assumptions behind this figure, which was independently arrived at by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and is a conservative estimate of cumulative household savings to be had from the transportation and thermal measures in EAN’s Path to Paris model.
To derive this figure, ACCD assumed that all of the transportation and thermal measures identified in EAN’s Path to Paris would be achieved by 2025. This means, for example, that 90,000 Vermonters would opt for an EV instead of a gas vehicle when deciding to purchase or lease a new vehicle over the next six years. If this measure, along with the other six transportation and thermal measures were taken at scale, the cumulative savings for Vermont households between now and 2035 was estimated by ACCD to be nearly $800 million.
ACCD also estimated the benefits to a Vermont household of taking just three of these measures: (1) replacing their fossil-fueled vehicle with a new EV; (2) displacing 75% of their fossil fuel use for home heating by purchasing a multi-head cold climate heat pump system; and (3) replacing an old electric water heater with a new heat pump water heater. Based on these three concrete actions, a Vermont household could have at least $650 extra in their pocket each year, with estimated savings for the period 2020-2035 estimated at nearly $10,000.
Importantly, ACCD’s analysis also projects other benefits to the state economy beyond consumer savings—including keeping more our energy dollars at home and increasing in-state investments in jobs and other actions—, which we will look at more closely in a future data download.