It was 10 years ago this week that EAN received our non-profit status (though Network conversations had begun back in 2009). So this month we are celebrating the first 10 official years of EAN as a non-profit, and the collaborative efforts and successes of our diverse Network of Members and Public Sector Partners.
In the past 10 years, EAN has convened working groups around the four ‘leverage points’ of public engagement, regulatory reform, technological innovation, and capital mobilization. Dozens of our Network Members and Public Sector Partners have come together to make progress on energy and climate priorities through Network Action Teams. Our energy community has come together at EAN Annual Summits, has contributed to strategic conversations like the Vermont Energy Future Initiative and Leveraging Change Speakers Series, and has contributed to, read, and shared our Annual Progress Reports for Vermont.
To our Network Members, Public Sector Partners, Board Members past and present, Senior Fellows, interns, and all others who have been involved in this work, we celebrate your leadership and commitment on this 10th anniversary and we look forward to our continued progress together!
Jared, Cara, Mei, and Matt
P.S. Speaking of interns, our summer internship program for college juniors and seniors is now open for applications until March 11th! See here for more information.
News from the World
The world is on fire and our leaders are failing, poll finds
Adults across the United States have damning opinions about the performance of their political leaders when it comes to climate change, voicing frustration at being left to take on climate action on their own after governments fail to act.
Prices for fossil fuels like propane and fuel oil have historically been high and volatile, as seen with the gray and purple lines above. Switching to electric heat pumps and/or wood heat options can lower a household’s energy costs and offer more stable fuel prices, as seen with the blue and green lines.
Switching to clean heating sources is also better for Vermont’s economy, as it keeps more money in state. In 2019, Vermont spent over $711 million on fossil fuels for heating. Of those dollars, 65% left the Vermont economy entirely. In contrast, a much greater share of money spent on electricity and wood for heating stays in state. For electricity, an average of 70 cents per dollar stays in state. For wood heat, an average of 80 cents per dollar spent stays in state. As more households switch to clean heating sources, more money will stay local, helping to employ our neighbors and strengthen our local economy.
Since she attended college in the early 1970s to study renewable energy technology and public policy, Christine Donovan has been a fierce advocate for climate mitigation solutions. She quickly entered the workforce after graduation by running the clean energy program for a non-profit in Maine before starting her own clean energy consulting business, C.T. Donovan Associates Inc., where she went on to advance many renewable projects. Since 2015, she has served on EAN’s Board and now Senior Fellows.
It was in March 2020 that Ms. Donovan developed the idea of creating an EAN internship program. Having a child in his senior year of college at the time, she saw how many companies quickly took down their internship opportunities for the summer with the economy in recession due to COVID-19. She wanted EAN and herself to provide these opportunities to young people given general workforce limitations even before the pandemic, so she quickly called EAN Executive Director Jared Duval and the other senior fellows to get a program up and running, albeit fully remote.
She came out of that first summer advising two college-aged interns and immediately felt inspired by the projects and professional development she witnessed. With the program design very focused on individually-designed deliverables, that interns can bring their creative energy and passion to, the high-quality final reports have been used immediately and repeatedly by others in the Vermont energy field. Interns similarly seem to love the opportunity to take on these projects and network weekly with climate professionals. One has said, “I got a job offer from an energy consulting firm after graduation, and I talked so much about my project this summer in all my interviews and about how much I learned about project management.”
Christine hopes this program shows other employers the success of internships and encourages them to consider their ability to develop the workforce through internships of their own. Applications for this third summer of the program are now open and will remain so until March 11th. See more here.
Events and Opportunities
EAN Summer Internship Applications due
Our Senior Fellow Christine Donovan (featured above) will again be leading our summer internship program. All those wishing to help further research in energy technology, modeling, and policy should send the application materials to Ms. Donovan by March 11th at 5pm ET. See more about the position here.
EAN Climate Workforce Network Action Team
The next coalition meeting of the new EAN Climate Workforce Network Action Team will be March 14th at noon. Alternatively, join one of the three workgroups forming and meeting in the next week: Weatherization Workforce, Communication & Outreach, or Data & Analysis. Reach out to Cara (email@example.com) to be added to the email list for any of these.
The Weatherization at Scale Network Action Team has been working for over a year to significantly scale up weatherization, especially for low- and moderate- income Vermonters. You are welcome to attend the monthly coalition meetings if you would like to learn more about the progress of the full coalition workgroups.
Nominations Open for New Members of Vermont Climate Council Subcommittees
Three subcommittees of the Vermont Climate Council — Science & Data; Rural Resilience & Adaptation; and Just Transitions — are currently seeking new members. Please consider nominating someone (including yourself!) before the deadline of March 15th, especially if you have experience or expertise related to the areas listed below. Use this link to submit nominations.
Rural Resilience & Adaptation Subcommittee is seeking expertise and lived experience from:
Rural local governments, small and large towns
Smart growth/ sustainable communities expertise
Resilience or other work with vulnerable and front-line communities (as identified by the Just Transitions subcommittee)
Identifies as a vulnerable or front-line community member (as identified by the Just Transitions subcommittee)
Climate resilience and adaptation research
Science & Data Subcommittee is seeking expertise and lived experience from:
Resilience metrics expertise
Lifecycle emissions expertise
Vermont Climate Council Meetings
All Vermont Climate Council meetings and subcommittee meetings are open to the public, with all details on the Climate Council website.
The Vermont Total Energy Ticker
With regional transportation pact in doubt, Vermont considers other policies
“Group members recently issued a memo to launch discussions about two alternative strategies that could be incorporated into an amended climate plan.”