House Overwhelmingly Approves Renewable Energy Bill

This afternoon, the Vermont House voted overwhelmingly to approve The Renewable Energy Standard and Energy Transformation Program (H.40). H.40 is a critical piece of legislation that would put Vermont in line 29 other states, including every state in the New England region, in requiring electric utilities to provide customers with renewable power.

RESET requires a total of 75% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable power by 2032, including 10% from small-scale, local projects (this would be the equivalent of 400-500 MW of new solar built over the next 17 years).

The legislation also gets at two other important pieces of our energy puzzle by establishing an “innovation tier”, which would help Vermonters cut their energy bills and reduce the state’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels in the heating and transportation sectors.

There were four amendments proposed, one of which was adopted. Representative Carolyn Branagan’s (R – Georgia) amendment, which strengthened the bill’s reporting requirements, passed by a voice vote. The three amendments opposed by VPIRG were defeated – two on a roll-call vote. Those are described below.

Bad renewable energy siting: Would have given a near veto to municipalities and landowners “affected by” potential renewable energy projects.

  • Public Interest Vote: Nay

Removing the Innovation Tier: The impact of this amendment would have been removing the part of H.40 that would get new help to over 85,000 Vermont families and businesses to cut their fossil fuel use and energy bills by weatherizing their homes, installing cold climate heat pumps, and taking advantage of other energy upgrades.

  • Public Interest Vote: Nay

Click here to see how your legislator voted and thank them if they voted in the public interest.