relative particulate emissions chart

Greetings!

Since its earliest days, our Network has embraced systems thinking as a way to better understand our interconnected challenges and to better identify effective strategies to make real progress. Events and public discourse over the past weeks have reminded us that our energy and climate challenges do not exist in isolation from other social challenges. In fact, they are inter-linked with—and exacerbated by—racial and economic inequities.

Last year, thanks to the work of the Vermont Energy Future Initiative, EAN’s Board updated the mission statement of our Network to make clear that it’s not enough to meet the numerical targets of Vermont’s energy and emissions reduction commitments – that how we do so also matters. Specifically, we are committed to creating “a more just, thriving, and sustainable future” for Vermonters.

As we shared last month, our Network Evolution work group recently identified centering equity as a key priority for the future of our network. As a first step, EAN is researching existing equity frameworks used by network members, and by other collaborative networks and energy organizations, to guide us in expanding how our network conducts data tracking and analysis, broadens Network participation, and improves Network processes.

As we do so, EAN staff will strive to continue to act with humility, as co-learners with our Network members, seeking to “call you in” to thoughtful reflection. We will also work to carefully facilitate honest conversations in service of more meaningful and durable change that can better get at the roots of our inter-linked systemic challenges, from the climate crisis to persistent racial and economic inequity.

To do so, difficult questions will demand more of our attention, including how systemic racism is manifested in the energy and climate spheres. And, while achieving it will be complex and challenging, we also believe that the need to act to create “a more just, thriving, and sustainable future” calls out to us now as loudly than ever.

We recognize that many network member organizations are grappling with these issues as well, that some have key resources and learning to offer, and that critical voices are missing from our network table—particularly those representing Vermonters of color. We invite you all to partner with us in this work going forward and welcome your feedback on how we can do better.

Thank you,

The EAN Team

Total Energy News – June 2020
Your Update on Vermont and National Energy News
Greetings!
Since its earliest days, our Network has embraced systems thinking as a way to better understand our interconnected challenges and to better identify effective strategies to make real progress. Events and public discourse over the past weeks have reminded us that our energy and climate challenges do not exist in isolation from other social challenges. In fact, they are inter-linked with – and exacerbated by – racial and economic inequities
Last year, thanks to the work of the Vermont Energy Future Initiative, EAN’s Board updated the mission statement of our Network to make clear that it is not enough to meet the numerical targets of Vermont’s energy and emissions reduction commitments – that how we do so also matters. Specifically, we are committed to creating “a more just, thriving, and sustainable future” for Vermonters.  
As we shared last month, our Network Evolution work group recently identified centering equity as a key priority for the future of our network. As a first step, EAN is researching existing equity frameworks used by network members, and by other collaborative networks and energy organizations, to guide us in expanding how our network conducts data tracking and analysis, broadens Network participation, and improves Network processes. 
As we do so, EAN staff will strive to continue to act with humility, as co-learners with our Network members, seeking to “call you in” to thoughtful reflection. We will also work to carefully facilitate honest conversations in service of more meaningful and durable change that can better get at the roots of our inter-linked systemic challenges, from the climate crisis to persistent racial and economic inequity.  
To do so, difficult questions will demand more of our attention, including how systemic racism is manifested in the energy and climate spheres. And, while achieving it will be complex and challenging, we also believe that the need to act to create “a more just, thriving, and sustainable future” calls out to us now more loudly than ever.  
We recognize that many network member organizations are grappling with these issues as well, that some have key resources and learning to offer, and that critical voices are missing from our network table—particularly those representing Vermonters of color. We invite you all to partner with us in this work going forward and welcome your feedback on how we can do better.
Thank you,
The EAN Team
News from the World
CO2 levels hit record despite emissions dip
Lockdowns and economic slowdowns during the pandemic have had no visible impact on the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, according to new data.
New Scientist
,
Read More
How countries are using COVID-19 response to fight climate change
Cities, businesses, and governments around the world have shown that even while fighting off a deadly virus, they can take steps to mitigate climate change.
Vox,
Commuters are adapting to the virus
COVID-19 is changing where people work and how they get around.
Analysts say it’s an unprecedented experiment in altering transportation patterns with the potential to reshape the world’s emissions trajectory.
E&E News,
Data Download – Particulate Matter Emissions
One of the troubling findings of recent public health research has been that communities with 
higher exposure to particulate pollution
, especially black communities, are experiencing higher COVID-19 hospitalizations and death rates. Fossil fuel combustion is one of the leading sources of 
particulate matter
 in the U.S., especially from coal-fired power plants and diesel and gasoline powered internal combustion engines. 
Over 2/3 of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant.
Here in Vermont, moving away from diesel and gasoline vehicles and from fossil fueled heating systems is one way we can 
improve air quality and health
.
But not all renewable alternatives are created equal. While Vermont’s heavily renewable electricity supply (62% renewable and 92% carbon-free as of 2019) is incredibly clean and a much healthier energy source for our transportation and heating needs than fossil fuels, there is wide variation in the particulate matter produced by different forms of wood heating, which can produce even more particulates than fossil fuel heating.
While automated pellet boilers (.032) and then EPA certified pellet stoves (.49) are the healthiest of wood heating options, heating with open fireplaces (28) or outdoor wood boilers or 
old wood stoves (4.6) produces significant amounts of PM2.5 and is particularly unhealthy
.
If you have an old wood stove that you’d like to change out to improve both indoor and outdoor air quality and save money, check out incentives available through the 
Clean Energy Development Fund
 and 
Efficiency Vermont
.

For more on the opportunity to increase efficient wood heating while reducing particulate emissions, see

this white paper from the Biomass Energy Resource Center.

EAN joins VBSR for a webinar TODAY!
EAN Executive Director Jared Duval will join VBSR this afternoon at 3:00 for a discussion of a green, resilient recovery. Register here:
Member Profile
Efficiency Vermont
Efficiency Vermont has always been a leader in reducing energy use in the state, particularly from electricity, but they are emerging as a leader in reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions as well. Since 2000, Efficiency Vermont has brought Vermonters together to reduce the cost of energy, saving more than $2.6 billion in energy costs and keeping more than 12 million tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere.   
On April 3, 2020 they released 
the final report of their Greenhouse Gas Task Force
.
The Task Force was formed to assess new and innovative greenhouse gas reduction strategies related to energy efficiency with the potential to influence manufacturing and supply chain processes for efficient products, and Vermont-business and building level greenhouse gas footprint calculations and incentive programs. The task force conducted six research and development projects covering: 1. Targeting of heating fuels 2. Home heating in an average house 3. Lifecycle analysis of advanced wood heating vs. oil 4. Residential construction materials 5. Natural refrigerants in commercial applications 6. Refrigeration liners.
 
We encourage members and partners to dive into 
the findings of the report
.
One that interested us was this break down of heating fuel by county:
The Vermont Total Energy Ticker
Regulators approve home energy storage programs
State utility regulators have approved two first-in-the-nation home energy storage programs for Green Mountain Power customers looking to own or lease a backup battery. 
ISO-NE expects sufficient summer power, COVID dampens demand
Societal changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to change consumer demand for electricity during the summer months, but these changes do not pose a reliability threat.
Lunderville will replace Rendall at VGS
Neale Lunderville, a Vermont politics and energy veteran, will take the helm of Vermont Gas Systems this fall. 
Have an upcoming event or news story to share?
Let us know.

 

 

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