Late Friday, the Clean Energy Bill (H.468) passed out of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, and it will be voted on by the full House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Advocating for this bill has been a wild ride. Multiple representatives have told me it’s been one of the toughest bills they’ve ever worked on, and it’s gone from strong to weak to strong to weak and back again, as VPIRG and our allies have battled the corporate interests that would rather Vermont not achieve its renewable energy future. The bill is not perfect, but it has emerged from committee as a major step on the path to Vermont’s clean energy future.
The Clean Energy Bill does two big things. First, in addition to aiming for 75% total renewable electricity by 2032, it requires Vermont utilities to get 35% of their electricity from renewable sources built after 2004. It also helps ensure that such new construction will increase the total renewable energy in our region by limiting the extent to which it can be used to simply offset dirty energy in other states.
Second, the bill significantly expands Vermont’s Standard Offer program, which gives renewable developers the predictability they need to be able to finance and build community-scale renewable energy. The bill adds more than 100 megawatts to that program over the next decade, and it will result in scores of new solar farms, wind turbines and other renewable plants being built all around Vermont.
There’s still a long way to go on this one. We’ll be keeping you in the loop as we work to keep the bill strong and improve it.
We’ve got a tough fight to see this bill become law, and that fight starts Tuesday with your Representatives.