Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) has announced its 2017 Energy Transformation Program, to support members in reducing their carbon footprint. The 2017 opportunities include financial incentives for members who install cold-climate heat pumps, purchase or lease electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or transition away from generators to power their homes or businesses. With 32,000 members across 2,000 square miles, VEC is committed to identifying and assisting members that may benefit from fuel switching and emission reduction opportunities through new technology and customized solutions.
“The technology to reduce carbon emissions is available right now. There is tremendous opportunity to reduce carbon in our daily lives by transitioning to electric technologies,“ according to Christine Hallquist, VEC’s Chief Executive Officer. “In many cases members can even save money on their overall energy bill. In addition to incentives for cold-climate heat pumps and electric vehicles, we are working to support our land-based businesses, such as maple sugaring operations, by partnering with them on line extensions and service upgrades. Many of those operations rely on fossil fuel generators because the upfront cost of getting electricity to their site is prohibitive. Our new Clean Air Program will help those businesses connect to replace those generators with electric service.”
VEC’s Energy Transformation Program was developed in response to legislation passed in the spring of 2015, which created Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES). Tier III of the RES seeks to leverage the increasing renewability of Vermont’s electric power supply to reduce carbon emissions in other areas such as heating and transportation. Heating accounts for about 33 percent of Vermont’s total carbon emissions, and transportation accounts for about 50 percent. The electric grid contributes only 15 percent of Vermont’s total emissions, and those numbers will go down as the grid accommodates more renewable power. VEC is offering these programs as part of its 2017 RES requirement of two percent of total electric sales.
The main components of VEC’s 2017 Energy Transformation Program include:
• Cold-Climate Heat Pump Incentives
VEC members can work through Efficiency Vermont’s program to receive a $600-800 discount on the initial purchase of a qualifying cold-climate heat pump. Once the cold-climate heat pump is installed, VEC members can receive an additional $150 VEC bill credit for each heat pump installed.
• Electric Vehicle and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Bill Credit
VEC members who purchase or lease an electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, can receive a bill credit of $250 for the purchase of a new or used vehicle, or $50 for each year of a vehicle lease (up to $250).
• Clean Air Program (CAP)
Discounted line extensions and service upgrades may be available for qualified off-grid or underserved homes and businesses that are currently running a generator on a regular basis for primary or supplemental power needs. If determined eligible, VEC may offer a discounted line extension or service upgrade so that the generator can be retired and replaced with electric service.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott commended VEC’s efforts to support its members in reducing carbon emissions. “I am very pleased to see these new carbon reduction programs being offered by Vermont Electric Cooperative to benefit its members. As I announced in my recent budget address, I have proposed a tax holiday and rebate program for electric and hybrid electric vehicles. It’s incentives like this – and VEC's new program – that can help support our environment and economy.”
Vermont Electric Cooperative, established in 1938, is a non-profit, member-owned electric distribution utility that provides safe, affordable, and reliable energy services to approximately 32,000 members in 75 towns. Nationally recognized for innovative and advanced use of technology, Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) is the largest locally-owned electric distribution utility in Vermont.
Source: Vermont Electric Cooperative. 2.8.2017 www.vermontelectric.coop