Senate passes Clean Heat Standard with change demanded by Scott

By Guy Page

The Vermont Senate today passed H715, the Clean Heat Standard which pushes Vermont fuel dealers and their customers to surrender traditional oil and gas heat in favor of electric heat pumps and weatherization. 

The Legislature hopes the Clean Heat Standard will incentivize/force Vermonters to choose heat pumps and weatherization over traditional oil/gas heat furnaces by raising the operating cost of the latter and subsidizing the former. 

The bill received preliminary approval by a 23-7 roll call vote on Thursday, and received final approval by voice vote on Friday. 

On Thursday, the Senate met a key demand of Gov. Phil Scott: it agreed the Legislature must first vote on a Public Utilities Commission (PUC) implementation plan (which will take about a year) before any action is taken. Also, a $600,000 economic impact study must be submitted by November, 2023.

However, several nervous Democratic senators expressed concern the Clean Heat Standard will significantly add to heating costs for fixed-income and low/middle income Vermonters. Ann Cummings (D-Washington) noted that she has received many calls from new Americans concerned about a Sophie’s Choice of either 1) not transitioning to heat pumps and thus paying far more for fuel, or 2) spending their life savings on installing heat pumps. She said she hopes the PUC plan does what the bill promises: protect low and middle-income Vermonters from harmful economic impact of the Clean Heat Standard. 

Senate Natural Resources and Energy Chair Chris Bray, whose committee advanced the bill, said as written the bill addresses low-income concerns by offering subsidies. Sen. Russ Ingalls said his constituents in the Northeast Kingdom, many of whom are low-income, would prefer to be left alone by the government to stand on their own two feet without the need for government assistance. 

Ingalls also noted the projected $2.2 billion needed to upgrade Vermont’s power grid to handle the statewide transition from fossil fuel to electricity.

Sen. Bobby Starr (D/R Essex-Orleans) expressed another, even more basic concern: that heat pumps simply won’t keep Vermonters warm in winter. In his personal experience with heat pumps, any temperatures below 25 degrees F require plenty of warm sweaters and heated mattresses, he warned his fellow senators during the floor debate Thursday. 

Supporters of the bill in effect told the worriers not to worry – the Legislature will be required to pass judgement on the PUC plan, and can recommend changes at that time if necessary. They also appealed to the need to address the underlying serious problem of climate change. Sen. Mark MacDonald conceded (as he did in committee recently) that the Clean Heat Standard is, in fact if not name, a carbon tax – a term Chair Bray declined to use when asked. 

However, MacDonald said the climate change problem will continue to grow, and it’s better to tackle the problem now rather than wait. None of the senators discussed how much Vermont’s carbon initiatives will impact global CO2 levels.

Gov. Phil Scott promised on the campaign trail he would never support a carbon tax. Whether he agrees with MacDonald’s frank assessment of the CHS as a ‘carbon tax’ or defers to Bray’s interpretation remains to be seen. But first H715 must return to the House for reconciliation with the Senate amendments, which in addition to the voting requirement also limits liquid biofuels and renewable natural gas to 10% of the year’s total clean heat credits. 

30 replies »

  1. In committee, Bray did admit that the CHS was “essentially” a carbon tax. He changed his tune on the floor. Watch the video and see him stammer a bit before answering, “it it a carbon tax,” as no. Nice to see that MacDonald called him on it.

  2. VT state Senator Mark MacDonald’s(D) advice to Vermonters “Get a blanket for ——- sake!”

  3. This isn’t about ‘clean’. This is all about CONTROL. If you are deemed a ‘naughty’ boy or girl by the government, ‘they’ can/will turn it off just like that. Electric is NOT ‘clean’ in the least. ‘They’ throw figures out there; word salad. Next, ‘they’ will be telling us we can no longer use wood to heat our homes and/or businesses. This is just another component in the grand scheme of things re: depopulation by psychopaths. Why aren’t ‘they’ doing anything about toxic chemicals in the air as it involves commercial airliners? There’s pollution for you.

  4. In VT it only takes two doctors to commit someone…. why can’t we do that with this Legislature? Or the Legislators one by one…..

    • We installed a heat pump system last fall and after a couple of months of proving the system it did provide heat but nearly tripled our electricity bill. This legislation should look at the real costs involved with this carbon tax program. At present heat pumps will save nothing but only transfer the cost. Natural gas is a much better alternative! Just saying

  5. The same SOS. Subjugation of the serfs, because “we know better than you”. Again ..

  6. “The Legislature hopes the Clean Heat Standard will incentivize/force Vermonters to choose heat pumps and weatherization over traditional oil/gas heat furnaces” This will certainly incentivize/force Vermonters to leave the state. $600,000 economic impact study. Seriously? After paying for the change over and the high cost of electricity most of us won’t have much money left to put into the economy. There, please send me $600,000

  7. Senator Ronald MacDonald looks better with his red wig and rubber nose😍
    “…. However, MacDonald said the climate change problem will continue to grow, and it’s better to tackle the problem now rather than wait.”

    There is no climate crisis.
    “Friends of Science Society is an independent group of earth, atmospheric and solar scientists, engineers, and citizens that is celebrating its 18th year of offering climate science insights. After a thorough review of a broad spectrum of literature on climate change, Friends of Science Society has concluded that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2).”


    MacDonald should be reported to the new Minister of Truth. 🙄

  8. “However, MacDonald said the climate change problem will continue to grow, and it’s better to tackle the problem now rather than wait.”

    Does Senator MacDonald actually believe that the climate change problem will go way if the clean heat standard is fully implemented?……If so, show us the proof!

    Meanwhile, “None of the senators discussed how much Vermont’s carbon initiatives will impact global CO2 levels.”…….Well that’s a discussion that must be had before unloading the clean heat standard on Vermont.

    After observing what has been going on in the legislature this session…….Vermonters have good reasons to be very concerned about how the State is being run by our elected officials……..Time to make changes in districts all around Vermont.

    Finally, a tip of the hat to Annette Smith for her informed and important work on bringing attention to the vast problems inherent with H.715 or the Clean Heat Standard.

  9. Misdirected solutions for a non existent problem. Heating costs will certainly rise while reliability drops as VT has to find energy sources for all the additional electricity demand. What happens when wood fuels are “blacklisted” because of high CO2 output?
    What is the recourse for the tax paying citizens of VT? Vote in November is one.
    CO2 is not causing the very minor warming of the Earth!!

  10. Anyone supporting this bill is is working to destroy native Vermonters, force us all out of the state by making it completely unaffordable. These people in government have forgotten their place as servants and now assume their self made positions as rulers.

    What will the penalties be for non-compliance? What tools will our Kings and Queens use to enforce the rules they deligate? What will the subjects have for defense of our rulers anger??

    These questions and many more like them were asked in Philadelphia 250+ years ago. And when the predictable answers where handed down… our founders answered back with violent and profound “no”.

    These communists are not our rulers. They are enemies of America.

  11. Who is going to help seniors who live on a fixed income and own a home. I live alone and heat with oil. A heat pump is way over my SS budget. Who is going to help us? As a single widower, my income is just above the 20,000 limit to receive fuel assistance. That puts me between a rock and a hard place. Guess Vt doesn’t really care about it’s elderly. As the article said put more warm clothes on or blankets.

    • Rose, Sorry to be so harsh and I;m in the same situation you are. If you vote for democrats this is what you get. I hope you don’t but it must be pointed out. Vote democrat or progressive, go broke!. These people want to make you a ward of the state. Ronald Reagan, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” he said were the most terrifying words you could here. They don’t care about you!!!!! Or me, I’m a widower, live alone, own a small home and have to work as a senior to survive.

  12. Montpelier is a prime spot for fools to gather and make foolish laws. The carbon tax, er, Clean Heat tax makes that point crystal clear.

  13. Well, I wonder if all the folks who keep voting of this miserable group will understand that it’s their fault. The Senators, a bunch of old guys sitting around and thinking about saving the earth’s climate from the less than postage stamp sized Vermont. The arrogance and ignorance combined with the holier than thou attitude like a meeting of the flat earth society. These guys and gals can’t even explain what this is or how it will work or cost. Isn’t it time to vote these people out of office?

  14. This conversation has to go beyond this vessel. Talking to each other while satisfying is not changing anything. Hard to vote the bums out if they are not challenged both at the polls and in the chambers.
    Talk to your neighbors, vote for real change, and start praying….

  15. I’m going to give Vermont till about December to start making some serious changes or I’m the f out of here. Born and raised but I’m not stupid. I’ve paid my carbon tax, it came in the form of high taxes, high costs for everything (especially food and housing), combined with a lower salary just for living in Vermont/NH because it’s beautiful here. I never wanted to work for the government or an NGO so my salary has been capped all my life.

    We should really all be having some serious conversations with our neighbors especially those with particular signs in their driveway windows or yards. They’ve ruined the state and I won’t pick up the pieces alone.

    I also can’t believe there’s this many Vermonters voting for this crap!

    Anyone check the voter rolls?

    • There is little doubt that the legislature and james condos in 2020 passed changes in election law to benefit the majority party in Vermont.It was done legally, but is morally reprehensible. Such is the character and values of those “ in power” in Montpelier.
      That “they” tell you Vermonts elections are free, fair and without fraud is but another lie
      Until mail in ballots and drop boxes are eliminated and requirements for ID are Instituted, the winners of elections in Vermont will be whom the vote counters want in office.

    • 50 seats were handed over to the Dems because there wasn’t a Republican running against them.

  16. Today fuel oil was prices at $6 per gal. And these communists what to make it cost more. — These things trigger revolutions. I expect to see a lot of houses catch fire, people collecting the insurance and moving to a state run by honest, rational people.

  17. This is a NWO directive – the WEF/WHO is a criminal syndicate and can be proven as such. Our Legislature and administration is guilty of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act – Federal crimes specified in RICO includes bribery, fraud, gambling offenses, money laundering, financial and economic crimes, obstructing justice or a criminal investigation, murder for hire, and the sexual exploitation of children. I urge Vermonters to write to each representative and senator, put them on notice that we, as magistrates, will be pursing them for crimes committed and they can either step down now or be removed through judicial process and prosecution. They are guilty, their actions prove it, and there is copious evidence to prove it. Oh, and that is not a threat under the new shield law they voted for themselves. Truth and evidence of criminal conduct is not a threat. Put them on notice or we remove them under Constitutional Law


  19. Last time I used electric heat in vt my electric bill went from 60 to 500 a month. It’s like they are trying to make it impossible to afford living here…

  20. All legislation should have to clearly define the problem it’s supposed to solve. Define how those results would be demonstrated. The cost to attain those results. Then a termination date of the law if the results are not accomplished by that date.
    Also, legislators should only meet every other year for four months.

  21. Self correcting; If global warming would get here, we wouldn’t need to run any heating source as much, therby correcting to alledged problem.

  22. You are so out of touch with the people you serve .
    This heat bill will sink so many tax paying middle class homeowners . Vermont is made up of beautiful older homes that could never be heated with heat pumps .Guess what we all already use extra blankets .Smug ,lack of insight

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