We are excited to share that the 2022 EAN Network Summit will take place on Thursday September 22nd. Please save the date for now – more details and an invitation to register will be coming soon!
In the meantime, a friendly reminder that our Pitch application is live, with pitches due by August 2nd. Those who submit a pitch are committing to work on moving it forward with a Network Action Team throughout the year, with support from EAN staff and other Network members.
Six to nine pitches will be selected to present at the EAN Summit on September 22, 2022. Pitch presentations will be capped at 5 minutes with a Q&A period afterwards. Two pitches will be selected to receive facilitation support from EAN staff and financial support of up to $15,000. Up to three other pitches will be selected to receive EAN staff consultations and financial support of up to $5,000.
Supreme Court Allows Greenhouse Gas Cost Estimates
In January 2021, Pres. Biden reinstated the federal working group to assess the social costs of GHG emissions. The Supreme Court recently dismissed a challenge led by the state of Louisiana, allowing the Biden administration to continue to take account of the costs of GHGs emissions in regulatory actions.
Study lays out options for New England grid operator to help cut emissions
ISO-New England, which oversees the regional grid, is considering four possible frameworks to better integrate clean energy into the grid. A recent Pathways study assesses: continuing the status quo; creating a new clean energy market; implementing carbon pricing; and a hybrid scenario.
Washington Is First State to Electrify New Construction
The state’s Building Code Council voted in April to require the installation of electric heat pumps for space and water heating in most commercial buildings and multifamily homes with four or more floors. The new code restrictions go into effect in 2023.The Council will soon also consider a similar requirement for new residential buildings.
When considering potential investments for a more equitable transportation system that can better meet the needs of Vermonters – especially lower-income Vermonters – it is important to take into account differences in access to vehicles and driving.
Specifically, Vermonters in nearly 7% of housing units have no access to a vehicle, while Vermonters living in another 35% of housing units have access to just one vehicle.
Regardless of access to a vehicle, nearly a quarter of Vermonters are not legally able to drive (can be for multiple reasons, including age and license restrictions).
Statistics like these remind us that investments in accessible, reliable transit options are important from an equity perspective – especially for those who do not have access to a vehicle or are not legally able to drive.
Network Action Team Update – Vermont Clean Transportation Equity
Last month, we provided a highlight on EAN’s Clean Transportation Equity Network Action Team and the Request for Proposals it released. As a reminder, the group’s goal is to advance a collaborative process to identify Vermonters’ challenges in the transportation and transit equity spaces and their experiences navigating existing clean transportation programs. To meet that goal, the team has since selected 8 organizations from the RFP, each of which will convene a focus group among their constituents or community to learn more from people who experience unmet transportation needs, and/or who may be less represented in statewide conversations around clean transportation. The team particularly aims to hear from Vermonters who experience high transportation cost burden and/or low transportation access, disproportionate transportation pollution, Vermonters with low income, youth, rural residents, those experiencing linguistic isolation, or those experiencing oppression or racism.
They are interested in making sure that a diversity of community voices are heard in this process – to collect feedback that will inform a report that:
● Examines how equitable processes, programs, and approaches can best serve lower income, rural, more marginalized Vermonters.
● Outlines impactful opportunities to invest state and federal dollars for maximum benefit in terms of cost-effective and efficient GHG reduction strategies.
● Analyzes the potential benefits of the proposed investment approach, in terms of jobs, consumer savings, health benefits, etc.
The organizations that will be running focus groups are: CVOEO, Central Vermont Council on Aging, Vermont Center for Independent Living, Old Spokes Home, Capstone Community Action, Rights and Democracy (working in Rutland), Lamoille Community House, and Saint Johnsbury Community Hub. The focus groups will be run in July, and report will be available in September.
Events and Opportunities
EAN Annual Summit
Hold Thursday, September 22nd in your calendars for EAN’s Annual Summit! Await an email soon from us with more details, but in the meantime, please save the date, consider submitting a pitch (or connect with current working teams by emailing Cara), and nominate an EAN member or public partner for one (or both) of our Annual Awards!
Davenport Electric Festival
Join the Brandon Energy Committee on July 9th in Brandon’s Estabrook Park from 11am-6pm for a festival honoring the birthday of Thomas Davenport, the inventor of the electric motor. He further invented America’s first electric vehicle, a demonstration train running on a circular track, and, in 1840, America’s first electric printing press. The Brandon Energy Committee now wish to hold an event to encourage the transition to electric-powered equipment honoring this history. On display will be a wide range of electric vehicles, including cars, buses, e-bikes, yard equipment and a working model of the first electric motor. Learn more here.
VCRD Community Leadership Summit
Presented by the Vermont Council on Rural Development on Wednesday, August 10th in Randolph, this event is to explore ways to support local leadership and democracy. The event will include skills workshops, networking opportunities, community project panels, and forum discussions with over 500 leaders from across Vermont expected to attend. Learn more here.
ANR/ VEIC Small Business Wood Heat Assessments
Energy experts at VEIC will analyze fuel usage data provided by each business and basic information about the businesses, including their functions, needs, and location to determine whether AWH is a good fit. If so, they will then determine the potential upfront costs and long-term savings. Businesses that appear to be good candidates to make the switch to AWH will then have the opportunity to participate in a more technical, no-cost follow-up assessment. If interested, fill out this short in-take form. To see the original press release for this opportunity, click here, to see all available wood heating rebates and incentives, click here, or to see an alternative summary bulletin, see here.
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
Collaborating on zero energy homes could help meet utility climate goals and grow affordable housing
An article by Rebecca Foster, CEO of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, covers an approach to Zero Energy Modular homes, as a way to transform low-income housing, meet climate goals, and also promote economic development.
A climate report card for our schools: Heating systems
One of a five-part series written by students across the state for of the Underground Workshop’s Climate Report Card. This installment details multiple school heating systems, featuring the wood chip heating system at U-32 High School in Montpelier, and others.
Despite challenges, Green Mountain Transit looks to expand MyRide pilot project
A new micro-transit project for GMT, the My-Ride program has been serving resident of Montpelier, aided by the work of Sustainable Montpelier Coalition. This article provides an overview of the program results to date and looks ahead to what’s next.