Total Energy News – October 2020
Your Update on Vermont and National Energy News
Greetings!
It has been an exciting month for the Energy Action Network! On October 1 and 2, we held our first virtual network Summit. Even though we couldn’t be together in person, the Summit still served as a time of grounding and inspiration. We identified several promising strategies to meet our climate commitments while saving Vermonters money and strengthening our economy. We also presented the 2020 Anne and Arthur Berndt Award to Capstone Community Action.
If you weren’t able to join us, or if you want to go back and revisit some of the pitches, presentations, or panels, you can find recordings and supporting materials from the Summit at https://www.eanvt.org/events-and-initiatives/2020-summit/.
New Data Manager
We are thrilled to introduce EAN’s new Data Manager, Mei Butler. In this role, Mei manages the collection and analysis of EAN’s data and the progress of the Vermont Energy Dashboard. She is a recent graduate from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (Masters of International Affairs), where she studied Energy and Environmental Policy, as well as data analytics. During her time at Columbia she also worked as an intern on the Policy Development team at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The majority of her time there was spent on energy efficiency topics, and she was also involved in a project regarding the use of the social cost of carbon in New York State.
Please welcome Mei to the EAN family. You can reach her at mbutler@eanvt.org.
Annual Progress Report for Vermont
With the Summit over and Mei on board, the EAN staff is turning our attention to the development of our 2020 Annual Progress Report for Vermont. As we work to build on the strengths of the 2019 report, we would welcome your input on new areas for analysis and key themes. Please email Jared at jduval@eanvt.org with any thoughts by Friday, October 30th, 2020.
Jared, Carolyn, & Mei
News from the World
CA sets goal to ban sale of new gas-powered vehicles
Gov. Gavin Newsom says California plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks starting in 2035 as the top U.S. auto market shifts to electric vehicles to reduce climate-warming emissions.
Reuters,
Automakers’ risky bet: EVs are better than gas cars
As Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG recently have unveiled marquee electric cars, they have let slip a remarkable admission for companies built on oil: Electric models will in some ways be superior.
E&E News,
On climate change, oil and gas companies have a long way to go
A new report finds that all the new industry commitments don’t add up. The system must be changed to channel investment away from fossil fuels into alternatives and affected communities. That will happen through changes in legislation and regulation — not through voluntary pledges.
Vox
Data Download – Thermal Emissions by Sector
For years, EAN has been drawing attention to the fact that over 70% of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation and thermal sectors. We continue to deepen that analysis to help policymakers, businesses, and individuals understand where exactly levers for change are. In the lead up to 2020 Energy Action Network Summit, we developed a new analysis of thermal emissions with data from Vermont’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. This shows that the majority of emissions from thermal fuel use happen at the residential level. This data reminds us that reducing emissions is not someone else’s problem to solve — we all have the responsibility and opportunity re: how we heat our homes and businesses. It also means we need a policy framework that addresses heating system choices at the residential and commercial levels.
REV Conference
  • October 21: Connectivity, featuring FERC Commissioner Richard Glick
  • November 18: Resilience, featuring Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the US Energy Storage Association
  • December 2: Moving Forward, featuring Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, Massachusetts Executive Office on Energy and Environment
  • December 9: Equity, featuring Coreina Chan, Rocky Mountain Institute
For nearly two decades, the REV Conference has been the leading renewable energy event in northern New England. Organized by the nonprofit trade association, Renewable Energy Vermont, this annual forum brings together business leaders, system operators, architects, builders, manufacturers, engineers, scientists, policy makers, and regulators. REV2020: Power to Renew will take place virtually with sessions from October through December.
Button Up Events
Ongoing throughout the fall
Button Up has a big schedule of events this fall to help people start weatherizing. They’ll provide a short and sweet review of weatherization topics on Weatherization Wednesdays at noon. And a deeper dive in the evening events.
VCRD Community Leadership Network Workshops
The Vermont Community Leadership Network (VCLN) was launched to connect and support local leaders as they build local projects, organizations, and systems that serve their communities and Vermont’s urgent and long-term needs. The Network supports members with online workshops on community development initiatives, skills training, and the sharing of best practices and inspiring success stories. The Fall 2020 series of workshops will be held bi-weekly on Tuesdays from 10-11:30am. Registration is required.
Sustainable Transportation Vermont
Sustainable Transportation Vermont is an online source for information relating to transportation in Vermont. Their essays and webinar series cover the challenges and opportunities faced by small cities, towns and rural areas as they attempt to wean themselves from a fossil fuel-based transportation system.
Member Profile
Meet Our New Members!
EAN was pleased to welcome a variety of new member organizations over the last month. These organizations reflect our total energy approach, and the involvement of businesses, non-profits, higher-ed, and grassroots organizations. We encourage you to visit each organization’s website to learn more about their work:
 
If you represent an organization interested in joining the network, please reach out to Network Manager Carolyn Wesley at cwesley@eanvt.org.
The Vermont Total Energy Ticker
Vermont Working to Electrify Rural Transit
Panelists at the Energy Action Network Summit discussed how to increase bus ridership and incentivize EV purchases in the mostly rural Vermont.
Moratorium on utility disconnections set to expire
The PUC said the deadline is meant to encourage residents to take advantage of $8 million in federal relief funding to help Vermonters pay their bills.
GMP program cuts costs, reduces carbon
An energy storage program has allowed Green Mountain Power to save its customers about $3 million so far this year by reducing the need for outside electricity during peak needs.
Have an upcoming event or news story to share? Let us know.

 

 

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