We are excited to share the news that Cara Robechek will be joining the EAN staff as our new Network Manager in January. Many EAN members know Cara from her great work over the past seven years as Executive Director of the Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) or from her work co-chairing the “Future of Rural Transit” network action team. EAN is fortunate to have Cara joining our backbone support staff and we look forward to the Network benefitting from her experience and talents in the years to come. On a related note, if you know a great candidate to serve as VEEP’s next Executive Director, please share this job posting.
2021 will be a pivotal year for Vermont’s energy & climate progress. Not only will the newly formed Climate Council be responsible for developing Vermont’s Climate Action Plan by December 2021 – the update to the Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) will also be completed over the next year, with a new plan due January 2022. The Public Service Department has already posted a request for information (RFI) related to the CEP update process, with responses due by February 1, 2021. If you would like to submit comments or just sign up to receive updates on the CEP process, please email PSD.ComprehensiveEnergyPlan@vermont.gov.
Until we see you again in 2021, we would like to send you warm wishes for the holiday season and express our gratitude for all you have contributed to helping achieve a more just, thriving, and sustainable future for Vermont and Vermonters during 2020.
The EAN Staff Team
News from the World
Reducing methane from cows with seaweed
A new method in which farmers feed seaweed to cows — needing to incorporate only about 0.2% of the total feed intake — indicates that methane levels can be reduced by 98%.
Earlier this year, EAN produced analysis about the energy inequities faced by Vermonters, which included looking at the energy burdens faced by income group regarding both overall energy costs and heating costs, in particular. As we work on our next Annual Progress Report for Vermont, EAN intern Jennah Slayton is delving deeper into the transportation fuel costs faced by Vermonters by income group and location. Below is a sneak preview. The story is similar to our previous findings: while lower-income Vermonters consume much less transportation fuel than upper-income Vermonters, the transportation fuels that lower-income Vermonters do purchase takes up a far larger share of their income. And across the board, Vermonters in rural areas spend more on transportation fuels than Vermonters in urban areas. The burden is particularly acute for the lowest-income drivers in rural areas of Vermont, with up to a quarter of all income spent on gasoline (not even counting costs for vehicles and their maintenance). Source: National Household Travel Survey (note: Vermont did not pay to collect state-specific data during the 2017 NHTS, so the most recent VT-specific NHTS data is from 2009).
Report: electrification could save VT households $973M
New analysis by Rewiring America shows that transitioning to 100% clean energy through electrification could save VT as much as $973 million in annual energy costs while dramatically reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions.
VT holds off while MA, CT, RI, and DC announce TCI agreement
Vermont declined to join the regional effort for now but will stay engaged in TCI’s planning process. Meanwhile, four jurisdictions will move ahead in cutting emissions and making investments in cleaner and more accessible transportation.