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BED, CUs launch plan to help make EVs more affordable

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 3:59pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine You can fill up your car with electricity for the equivalent of $1.50 a gallon of gas. Burlington Electric Department has a way to drop that to around $1 a gallon equivalent, while also reducing the upfront costs of electric vehicles. The upfront cost has been the primary barrier for people who want an EV from buying an EV. Burlington Electric today, in partnership with three local credit unions, launched a first-in-Vermont, new financing program to help make EVs more affordable for its customers.

PAI: Who wins and who loses under the new school tax plan?

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 3:45pm -- tim

by Jack Hoffman Public Assets Institute Before Vermonters can assess the new education funding bill emerging in the Vermont House, they need to see a thorough analysis of winners and losers. The plan is being touted as a major shift from property taxes to income taxes to pay for education. But looking at the proposed education revenue numbers, there isn’t much of a shift. In fact, there will be slightly less in income taxes and slightly more in property taxes going into the Education Fund than under the current system.

ANR Secretary Julie Moore invites the public to discuss key environmental issues

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 12:13pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s iconic landscape, including its mountains, woods, water, and wildlife, are some of the many reasons people choose to call the Green Mountain State home. This spring, Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore invites the public to join her for a series of conversations about Vermont’s land and water.

Senate to vote on gun legislation next week

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 12:10pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine In a press conference today Attorney General TJ Donovan, Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe voiced their support for commonsense gun legislation. Senate President Ashe announced a plan to bring meaningful gun legislation to the Senate floor for a vote next week. The four elected officials voiced collective support for protecting victims of domestic violence and empowering law enforcement to protect the public and conduct effective risk assessments.

Vermont to get $140,000 from Merrill Lynch and agent for unauthorized actions

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 10:50am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The State of Vermont will receive $140,000 from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Merrill Lynch) and Lawrence K. Barber as a result of a Department of Financial Regulation investigation. Commissioner Michael S. Pieciak announced today that Merrill Lynch and Barber will pay a combined administrative penalty of $98,000 to the general fund, $30,000 to reimburse the Department for the costs of its investigation. They will also pay a combined $12,000 to the Department’s investor education and training fund.

A.M. Best affirms credit ratings of Prism Assurance

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 10:19am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine A.M. Beshas affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Credit Rating of “a-” of Prism Assurance, Ltd of Burlington. The outlook of these Credit Ratings is stable. The ratings reflect Prism’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

Startup with new tree tapping tool wins LaunchVT Collegiate

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 9:19am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Maple Innovations, a startup founded by students from Vermont Tech, took first place at the LaunchVT Collegiate final pitch competition, winning $4,000 and a coveted spot in the 2018 LaunchVT cohort. Jack Beauparlant, from Danville, VT and Manny Aretakis from Pembroke, ME have developed a new tool for tapping trees that is lighter, ergonomic and more efficient than traditional tools, and sells for a fraction of the price. The combination of a competitive advantage in product value and price, combined with the sizeable market in New England earned the VTC student entrepreneurs the top prize. 

Woodchuck Cider ends relationship with Pabst

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 6:58am -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine In October 2012, an Irish cider maker and beverage distributor stunned the Vermont business world by paying $305 million for Vermont Hard Cider Company, the maker of the Woodchuck brand. By all accounts it did not go well. Within two years the owner enlisted the Pabst Brewing Company to distribute and market the brands as sales did not meet expectations. Pabst also had a $150 million option to buy VTHCC.

Altus completes Highgate solar projects

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 5:54am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Altus Power America, Inc and Reservoir Road Holdings, LLC recently combined efforts to develop two 648 kW DC ground-mounted solar systems located in the Town of Highgate, Vermont. The two arrays are built over old gravel pits on Frontage Road, converting previously unusable land into a renewable energy generator.

Roper: ESSEX carbon tax robs poor to pay rich

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 4:45am -- tim

by Rob Roper Chris Miller, who works on the Social Missions Committee at Ben & Jerry’s, testified to the House Energy & Technology Committee that his company is firmly in favor of the carbon tax bills (H791/S284) based on the ESSEX Carbon Tax plan. Why? Because under the legislation, Ben & Jerry’s, which is owned by the British/Dutch company Unilever, will pocket an estimated $832,000 in electricity subsidies while avoiding the tax almost completely.

Energy Co-op earns Efficiency Vermont's 'Best of the Best' award

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 3:46am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Recent energy upgrades to a 1950's cape-style home in Burlington have not only greatly improved the home's comfort and reduced its energy costs but have also earned the Energy Co-op of Vermont a 2018 "Best of the Best" Award from Efficiency Vermont. The Moore's home in Burlington's New North End was cold and drafty, particularly in the upstairs areas due to lack of insulation.