On Town Meeting Day, March 7, 2023, Burlington voters will decide whether to implement a measure encouraging the usage of renewable energy heating systems in newly constructed buildings. The passage of this measure – question 2 – would have Burlington join cities across the Northeast that have utilized similar measures cut carbon pollution and provide residents with affordable energy options.
Question 2 will encourage developers to build efficient buildings, primarily with systems like cold climate and geothermal heat pumps. It would not affect existing structures, except for large commercial buildings over 50,000 sq ft in size.
We expect Burlington’s upcoming district heat project to play a limited role given the high cost of extending that project beyond the buildings it is already planned to serve. Heat pumps, including both air-source cold climate heat pumps and geothermal ones, are generally much better suited to the new construction this question is primarily focused on. And developers that opt to install fossil fuel systems instead will be required to pay a carbon pollution impact fee, which will go towards funding measures that reduce carbon pollution, including a new City fund “to support clean heating technology installations for low-income Burlington households and renters.”
Burlington voters that believe we should decarbonize our heating and build resiliency to the climate crisis should vote “YES” on this measure this coming Town Meeting Day.
For more about the ballot measure, visit: https://ballotpedia.org/Burlington,_Vermont,_Carbon_Fee_Measure_(March_2023)