Our businesses are under many cost pressures, only one of which is the increasingly high cost of energy. Energy planning in Vermont simply must emphasize affordability and allow our businesses to create jobs and remain competitive nationally and internationally.
Efficient use of our energy resources, whether electric or fossil fuels, can save businesses money since the unit of energy you don’t use is the cheapest. Vermont has invested heavily in a green electric portfolio and due to this investment we have one of the lowest electric energy carbon portfolios in America. Our members support additional, cost-effective, renewable energy projects and in-state generation and recognize the economic value that both utility-owned and private in-state generation can bring. However, electric energy is undeniably a large portion of the cost of doing business for many of our members and an emphasis on affordability needs to be perpetually considered. Given the justified amount of attention our electric portfolio has received, we believe that a more efficient and comprehensive multi-modal transportation system should be of the highest priority. Increasing access to all energy efficiency efforts for all energy sources using existing dollars is a worthwhile effort. Vermont businesses must be able to compete on a national and international basis and we must balance our strong desire to remain green with our ability to create and retain jobs.
VICTORIES AND UPDATES:
S. 214, a bill to enact a renewable portfolio standard in Vermont was changed significantly following concerns raised by the Chamber on behalf of our members. The bill could have had significant impacts on Vermont companies trying to compete both nationally and internationally. The bill, which was ultimately adopted by the House and Senate, did away with the RPS, instead suggesting the issue be studied. The proposal reduced the Standard Offer expansion to an additional 75 megawatts over the next 10 years. We applauded this change as it allows time for more careful consideration of the cost impacts to employers while moving Vermont to the energy future we all envision.
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