EAN is Hiring! + VT and US Energy News

Total Energy News – October 2021
Your Update on Vermont and National Energy News
On Friday October 22, EAN hosted a webinar about the Clean Heat Standard. This proposed performance standard for the heating fuels sector would reduce Vermont’s reliance on fossil fuels for heating, and support a range of cleaner options. The webinar was presented by Richard Cowart (from the Regulatory Assistance Project – RAP) and Chris Neme (from the Energy Futures Group – EFG) who have been co-chairs of an EAN Network Action Team that has been meeting regularly over the past year to develop the key design elements for this policy. The video and slides from the webinar can be seen near the bottom of the EAN Clean Heat Standard webpage. A full white paper about the Clean Heat Standard will also be available on that page within the next few weeks.

At the 2021 EAN Summit in September we heard seven pitches for promising opportunities to help Vermont rapidly, cost-effectively, and equitably reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas pollution. The pitches with the most support from the EAN Network are already starting their work – and you are invited to get involved! These include:

  • Benefits of TCI: This Network Action Team will advance a collaborative process to identify the highest impact investment opportunities, in terms of cost-effective and equitable greenhouse gas reduction strategies and actions, for possible Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) revenue in Vermont. If you are interested in getting involved in this fast moving process, please fill in this intake form today, or get in touch with the co-chairs of this group (Jordan Giaconia (jordang at vbsr.org), Amanda Carlson (acarlson at capstonevt.org), and/or Cara Robechek (crobechek@eanvt.org). You can also see more about this team below.

  • Climate Workforce: This Network Action Team is responding to the challenge that, to achieve Vermont’s required greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, we need to train thousands of Vermonters with the skills to electrify our transportation sector, install clean energy solutions, weatherize homes, build net zero commercial buildings and sustainably manage our working lands, forests and waterways. Right now we are not sufficiently building and sustaining this climate workforce pipeline. While there have been past efforts to address workforce shortages, we need a laser focus now on equitably and inclusively growing the climate workforce specifically, if we are to comply with state laws. A smaller steering committee is starting to meet to plan this work, and all are invited to a first Climate Workforce Coalition meeting on Monday, December 6, noon-1:30pm. You can register for that meeting here.

If you are interested in getting involved in any of the Network Action Teams – new or existing from last year, please let Cara know at crobechek@eanvt.org.

And finally, with all of these new and ongoing initiatives at EAN, we are hiring a half-time Communication and Events Associate. Please spread the word about this new position at EAN to people who would be interested in joining our team!

We hope you are well,

The EAN Staff Team (Jared, Cara, and Mei)
News from the World
COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland starts next week

This article provides an overview of what is on the Agenda for COP26 starting October 31, as well as the role of the U.S. in the negotiations.

In Missouri, utilities will pay for energy efficiency projects

All of Missouri’s major utilities are launching Pay As You Save Programs, rolling energy savings projects into customers’ monthly bills.
Energy News Network
Enviro groups applaud Quebec’s ban on fossil fuel exploration

The Quebec Premier has announced that the province will renounce extraction of hydrocarbons within its territory.

Canada National Observer
Data Download – Examining TCI Impacts
The Transportation & Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) is a cap-and-invest program designed to reduce pollution from on-road gasoline and diesel fuels, while generating a new source of funding for clean and equitable transportation investments. If Vermont joins TCI-P, it is expected to receive approximately $19 million in revenue during the first year of program implementation, which is expected to increase over time to up to $27 million per year in 2032. This revenue could be invested in cleaner and better transportation options. The intent of TCI-P is to improve the overall transportation system while reducing overall transportation costs. For example, driving electric vehicles instead of gasoline vehicles can save rural Vermont drivers, on average up to $1,500 per year on operational and maintenance costs.
Recent research by Energy Action Network looked at what the possible costs might be for Vermonters to achieve the benefits described above. The graph below shows that the projected additional costs would be a very small fraction of the amount currently paid for gasoline, even if all costs were passed through to consumers. The average household in the lowest income tier would pay about $21 per year, which rises to $29 per household for those earning more than $150,000. The analysis also showed that 25% of any increase in gas prices in Vermont would be paid by out-of-state drivers, and an additional 25% would be paid by households with an income of over $100,000.

More details can be seen in the research brief here.
Network Action Team Profile
Benefits of TCI for Vermont
One of the recommendations that looks likely to come out of the Cross Sector Mitigation subcommittee of the VT Climate Council is for Vermont to join the Transportation and Climate Initiative. To date, many of the conversations in Vermont have been about the projected costs of TCI, rather than the possible benefits to the state. To that end, a new Network Action Team is starting its work to advance a collaborative process to identify the highest impact investment opportunities, in terms of cost-effective and equitable greenhouse gas reduction strategies and actions, for Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) revenue in Vermont. 

If Vermont decides to join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia in the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P), estimates are that we will receive approximately $19 million in the first year, with increasing revenues in the years thereafter. How cold we invest that TCI revenue for cleaner, more equitable, and better transportation options for Vermonters?

If you are interested in being involved in that conversation, please fill in this intake form today, or get in touch with the co-chairs of this group (Jordan Giaconia (jordang at vbsr.org), Amanda Carlson (acarlson at capstonevt.org), and/or Cara Robechek (crobechek@eanvt.org)).
What’s Coming Up?
Vermont Climate Council Meetings
All Vermont Climate Council meetings and subcommittee meetings are open to the public. The Climate Council has a new website here.
EAN Climate Workforce Coalition – Kickoff meeting
Join the initial conversation of the Climate Workforce Coalition as we meet the challenge of equitably and inclusively growing Vermont’s climate workforce.
Monday, December 6, noon-1:30pm
Youth Climate Leaders Academy (YCLA)
Vermont Energy Education Program’s YCLA supports high school students in planning and implementing projects that make a difference on climate change. The kick-off retreat provides opportunities to get inspired, collaborate, have fun, and grow the skills needed for current and future climate leaders. This time includes project planning, a variety of project skills workshops, professional project consultations, and collaboration. Post kick-off support includes follow-up meetings that offer additional community and technical support to keep projects moving forward. Students should register before November 10th, and email Mariah@veep.org with any questions. 
VECAN Conference
Save the Date! The 14th Annual VECAN Conference will start December 4th, and will include workshop sessions continuing throughout the following week. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information coming soon.

The Vermont Total Energy Ticker
EVs projected to play big role in Vermont emission reductions

Energy Action Network’s pathway analysis indicates that electrification of transportation is likely to be one of the largest drivers for greenhouse gas emission reductions in Vermont this decade.

Energy News Network
Can Vermont reach its renewable energy goals?

In the Vermont Conversation, David Goodman speaks with Darren Springer of Burlington Electric Department and Peter Sterling of Renewable Energy VT about where Vermont is now on its “green energy quest”.

VT Digger
Vermont gets $49 million in LIHEAP funding

VT will receive $49 million in Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding this year. Funds can be used for updating heating equipment, and weatherization, in addition to fuel assistance.

Vermont Biz
Have an upcoming event or news story to share? Let us know.

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