We are excited to (re)introduce Lena Stier as EAN’s new Data Manager! You may have already met Lena when she joined EAN as a summer research intern in 2022. In her new role Lena will coordinate research, data collection, and analysis, and manage production of the EAN Annual Progress Report for Vermont. Previously, she has supported climate and sustainability research projects with Global Footprint Network and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. Lena was born and raised in Burlington, VT, and graduated from the University of Vermont with a BA in Environmental Studies and Political Science.
Speaking of the EAN Annual Progress Report for Vermont, we are starting the process of planning for the 2023 report. It is always helpful for us to get feedback from our Network members and public sector partners as we plan for a new report. If you would like the chance to share your thoughts, please fill out this survey by Friday, February 3rd. The survey will give you a chance to reflect on what you value about the 2022 report, as well as what could be improved, or would make a valuable addition to the 2023 report.
Cara, Jared, and Lena
News from the World
Big Oil’s good times set to roll on after record 2022 profits
Some of the biggest energy firms brought in record profits in 2022, benefiting from volatile oil and gas prices.
The FAQs include answers to questions about what the Affordable Heat Act is, how it will impact the cost of heating, who will benefit, and what impact it will make on climate pollution. It also addresses questions about biofuels, wood heat, and impacts on fuel providers. Working group members invite others to share these resources.
Data Download: Equity in the
Affordable Heat Act
Most of our readers will be aware that the Affordable Heat Act (S.5) has been introduced this year in the Vermont Senate. This bill would help Vermonters reduce their dependence on high-cost, price-volatile, and polluting fossil heating fuels. The Act would do this by establishing a Clean Heat Standard that would require importers of fossil heating fuels to reduce pollution over time, in line with Global Warming Solutions Act requirements. To do so, fossil fuel importers would have to deliver or pay for cleaner heat options — mostly for lower and middle income Vermonters — and especially with solutions that cut costs over time, like weatherization, heat pumps, and advanced wood heat.
The Act requires that the majority of clean heat services in the residential sector go to lower- and middle-income Vermonters, though the way this is stated in the bill can be confusing. The bill states that the benefits from the clean heat standard shall be at least 16% to low income, and an additional 16% to moderate income customers. The 32% (16% low income + 16% moderate income) listed in the bill are a portion of all thermal emissions, however, they can only come from residential customers (there are no low or moderate income commercial or industrial customers). Thus the credits for low and moderate income credits will make up at least 60% of all residential emissions, as seen in this new graphic.
Events and Opportunities
EAN Webinar: Retaining Climate Workforce
This webinar hosted by the EAN Climate Workforce Network Action Team is targeted at climate workforce employers. It will provide an inspiring view of low and no cost retention techniques for keeping your workers in their jobs. Presented by Susan Loynd, M.A., SHRM-SCP, who is an accomplished, certified, senior human resource executive with over 25 years’ experience as a business leader. She also brings a sense of humor that will make this hour well worth your while.
To kickstart public engagement opportunities related to reviewing renewable electricity programs in Vermont, the Public Service Department is hosting an informational webinar series to share information and answer questions about Vermont’s current electric system. The sessions include “Where Does Vermont’s Electricity Come From?” and “Current Renewable Energy Policies”.
This virtual workshop will overview an effort underway to develop Community-Led Resilience Hubs. Through regionally-specific, community-led design, we can support Vermont communities in building climate resilience. Learn more and register to attend here.
EAN Network Action Teams meet regularly. If you are interested in joining meetings of the Weatherization at Scale Coalition, the Climate Workforce Coalition, or other teams, or if you want to learn more about their work, contact Cara: email@example.com.
DeltaClimeVT is seeking innovative, early-stage, start-ups addressing the decarbonization of buildings, transportation, heating and industrial processes through electrification, biofuels or other renewables with a particular focus on load management controls integrated with storage, heat pumps and building systems, particularly those that address under-represented and low to moderate income populations. Entrepreneurs will be working directly with Vermont utilities to contribute to Vermont’s 90/50 and Burlington’s Net Zero by 2030 goals. Featuring the world-class @ecosVC™ curriculum, a $25,000 non-equity prize for the top venture; paid pilot opportunities; extensive peer feedback; work directly with potential customers, partners, mentors and investors.