The FY23 budget includes over $110 million in investments to cut climate pollution, with the significant majority of that funding going to programs aimed at helping low- and moderate-income Vermonters cut their energy bills and fully participate in the transition off of fossil fuels. The House has also already voted to support H.518, the municipal energy resilience bill, which would invest $48 million in efficiency and clean heating options for municipal buildings across the state, and is considering significant investments in critical workforce initiatives in H.703, including in the “climate workforce” needed to enable weatherization and other action at this scale.
The initiatives the House is on track to fund finally approaches the necessary scale and pace of climate action in Vermont. They are not enough on their own, but they are a huge step in the right direction. Below is a summary of the climate investments contained in H.740, the budget bill, and a press release from VPIRG and our allies.
Low Income Weatherization Program:
$45,000,000 for the Home Weatherization Assistance Program run by the Office of Economic Opportunity and the Community Action Agencies. Sec. G.600(a)(1)
Moderate Income Weatherization:
$35,000,000 for weatherization for Vermonters with moderate incomes, through Efficiency Vermont. Sec. G.600(a)(2)
Home Electrical System Upgrades:
$20,000,000 for \”financial and technical assistance for low- and moderate-income Vermonters to upgrade home electrical systems to enable installation of energy saving technologies,\” through the Clean Energy Development Fund at the Department of Public Service. Sec. G.600(a)(4)
“Switch & Save” Heat Pump Water Heater Program:
$5,000,000 to create a \”Switch & Save\” program to allow low- and moderate-income Vermonters to install heat pump water heaters at low- or no-cost, through the Clean Energy Development Fund at the Department of Public Service. Sec. G.600(a)(4)
Load Management and Storage:
$2,000,000 for load management and energy storage for low- and moderate-income Vermonters, smaller electric utilities, and municipalities, through the Department of Public Service. Sec. G.600(a)(5)
Advanced Metering Infrastructure:
$5,000,000 for matching funds for Advanced Metering Infrastructure for rural and municipal electric utilities, through the Department of Public Service. Sec. G.600(a)(8)
Municipal Energy Resilience:*
$48,400,000 to support municipalities with technical assistance, energy assessments and municipal weatherization, fuel switching and other potential energy-saving and resilience measures. This includes $40,000,000 in direct grants to municipalities for this work of up to $250,000.
Electric and High-Efficiency Vehicle Incentives:
Expands the suite of vehicle incentives by investing:
- $12,000,000 in Incentive Program for New PEVs.
- $2,000,000 in Drive Electric Vermont.
- $3,000,000 in MileageSmart.
- $3,000,000 in Replace Your Ride Incentives.
- $1,000,000 in eBike incentives.
- $1,000,000 in eATV and eSnowmobile incentives.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Grants:
Expands the existing EVSE Grant by investing:
- $10,000,000 in Level 1 and 2 EVSE at workplaces and multi-unit dwellings and Level 1, 2, and 3 EVSE at public venues and attractions.
- No less than 30% of the $10,000,000 appropriated in this bucket will go to Level 1 and Level 2 EVSE deployment in multi-unit dwellings.
- $3,000,000 in Level 1 and 2 EVSE at State parks and fishing access areas.
- $2,000,000 for public EVSE along highway networks.
Sec. G.600(b)(1), (b)(2), and (a)(3). Note also that $6,250,000 in state and federal transportation funds are dedicated in the Transportation Bill for Level 3 EVSE along the State highway network, which includes $2,000,000 in Sec. G.600(a)(3) of the budget.
Language in the budget and the T-bill also ties the pace of deployment of these vehicle and EVSE incentives and grants to the Global Warming Solutions Act’s requirements, and makes sure that outreach and translation services are funded to advance equitable access to these programs.
*This summary reflects significant, new FY 23 climate mitigation commitments in the FY23 budget bill — above and beyond baseline funding for programs like low-income weatherization and multi-year funding appropriated in the 2021 legislative session. It also does not summarize some very important, additional FY 23 climate resilience investments, or investments made in other bills such as the municipal energy resilience bill *(H.518) and the workforce development bill (H.703).