Gov. Peter Shumlin signed H.40 – the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) bill – into law today at signing ceremony in Montpelier.
This law brings Vermont in line with 29 other states by requiring that electric utilities get a certain percentage of their energy from clean, renewable sources.
The Renewable Energy Standard is projected to save Vermonters nearly $400 million, get over 400 MW of renewable energy built, help tens of thousands of Vermonters weatherize their homes or make other energy upgrades, and create over 1000 new jobs in clean energy and efficiency.
The law will also require utilities to help Vermonters reduce their use of fossil fuels for heating and transportation.
“Vermont is leading America in getting energy policy right,” Gov. Shumlin said. “This bill will help us take our innovation to the next level, enabling us to create jobs, save Vermonters money, and continue to make progress combating climate change.”
The governor credited the work of environmental advocacy organizations in getting H.40 passed – specifically thanking VPIRG along with the Vermont Natural Resources Council and the Vermont Conservation Voters.
He also thanked the power utilities for their cooperation and lauded the hard work of legislators, especially Natural Resource and Energy Committee Chairs Rep. Tony Klein and Sen. Chris Bray, for getting H.40 to his desk. The governor’s chief of staff, Darren Springer, was also recognized for his leadership in getting the bill passed in his previous role as deputy commissioner of the Deptartment of Public Service.
VPIRG Clean Energy Associate Dylan Zwicky said the bill the governor signed is crucial for forging a sustainable Vermont.
“The Renewable Energy Standard will help Vermonters reduce their dependence on dirty fossil fuels, get tens of thousands of homes weatherized, and save hundreds of millions of dollars,” Zwicky said. “This law is a critical step forward on our path to a clean energy future.”