Under ‘Clean Heat Standard,’ Vermonters in old homes will pay extra to stay warm

by Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe)

Editor’s Note: the report below was sent by Stowe’s legislator to media, constituents and others on her email list. It is republished here because Rep. Scheuermann, as a Energy and Technology Committee member, offers a first-person look at legislation now being crafted that, if enacted, will change how Vermonters warm their homes for decades to come.

The House Committee on Energy and Technology, the committee on which I serve, has spent most of the last two weeks on a proposed Clean Heat Standard.

The Clean Heat Standard is the signature policy initiative brought to us by the Climate Action Council in their Climate Action Plan designed to help us begin to meet the greenhouse gas reductions required by the Global Warming Solutions Act that became law last year.

Rep. Heidi Scheuermann

In a nutshell, it is the most dramatic shift in the distribution of heating fuels ever contemplated in Vermont and will impact Vermonters dramatically. The proposal would require Vermont’s heat suppliers and heating service companies to sell fuel and install heating equipment that lowers greenhouse has emissions. It would do this by providing Clean Heat Credits to any company that can demonstrate that their product or service reduces emissions.

If your company does the work, your company gets paid.

So, if a heating fuel or service company gets paid for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, who foots the bill?

Under a Clean Heat Standard, wholesalers of heating oil and propane and/or providers that take ownership of fuel when it crosses into Vermont would be considered obligated parties that would have to purchase “credits” obtained from those companies that sell both low carbon fuel and emissions reduction services. That means about 80% of all retail heating fuel providers that serve Vermont customers would be required to acquire credits or make a quarterly “alternative compliance” payment.

The good news is that most experts believe this will, in fact, reduce our state’s greenhouse gas emissions, and help us to meet the requirements outlined in the Global Warming Solutions Act.

And, it will provide much greater opportunities for Vermonters to purchase lower emitting fuel and/or install low or no carbon emissions heating equipment.

But, this dramatic shift in our home heating world won’t come without a cost to many Vermonters. As some Vermonters will be able to afford some of these more costly equipment changes, and some may think the higher cost of heating fuel is worth it for lower carbon emissions, there are many low to moderate income Vermonters – especially those living in older homes – who will find it very difficult to pay for the higher cost of heating fuel that will inevitably result.

At this time, our committee continues to do its due diligence to understand the proposal fully, and its implications on Vermont families and businesses. And, I look forward to that work continuing.

10 replies »

  1. Big waste of time when other countries are doing nothing and green proponents are to weak to address that. Or are making money from these countries. Just more money sucked out of the middle class. Again I ask Vermonters who voted for these people. Each morning. I read the blog and all I see is more restrictions and costs on the people do
    Vermont while these legislators virtue signal in a fake reality.

  2. It’s important for us to continue the debate about greenhouse gases, the carbon cycle and our climate. The Global Warming Solutions Act, the Climate Action Council with their Climate Action Plan are not the solution. This is a act of sophomoric image management to appear as if we’re doing something. Aren’t we beginning to suspect that this is just an ill conceived act of desperation? It’s like saying “gosh lets fix the carbon thing…we’ll cut back on our exhaling”. Come on neighbors…back to the drawing board…starting with repeal of that silly law.

  3. This is not a good time to be burdening any taxpayer in the state of vermont; hey why dont we do something about property taxes?? lets start with what needs fixing now…..

  4. So let me get this straight… I’ll be paying more for my heating bills here in tiny Vermont, population 640,000, because “muh global warming,” but China, at 1.4 billion, is just going to keep burning coal? These people are f-ing idiots.

    • Is Vt going to fund homeowners especially seniors for new systems. We are already on a fixed income and finding it expensive to keep warm in the winter. If you are going to put this law on the books, then they should fund it.

  5. This is nothing more than a resource saving agenda by rich politicians and board members for their own selfishness. Less for you that can’t afford these policies, more for us who can afford them. At first, they will supply subsides for the masses so they will get voted back into power again until they can take away the subsides after the competition fuel suppliers go bankrupt to the point of you complying or passing on. Climate change activists are extremely selfish. Most want YOU to sacrifice so they don’t have to. It funny how their lifestyles never get impacted by the policies they enforce on others. That is a fact that I would love the activists to prove I’m wrong. Please invite me into your home so I can see for myself how you are sacrificing to save the Earth.

  6. Virtue signalling …and full of errors. Which reveals it to be the imperfect plan of man.
    God gave us trees and fire.
    God doesn’t fix what ain’t broke.
    Man does…for profit, in hubris and conceit, and greed…replacing God’s plan with his own.
    The Path of Mammon.

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