Vermont

Summary

As of 2007, Vermont introduced sector specific targets related to building energy efficiency, these include reducing both fuel use and energy bills by 25% in 60,000 homes by 2017, and 80,000 homes by 2020 and reducing fuel needs and fuel bills by an average of 25% in housing units served by energy utilities. Vermont’s building requirements complement the reduction targets set and are more stringent than the standard US code of 2009, IECC. Funding is offered by utilities in Vermont to support energy efficient improvements to homes.  Efficiency Vermont works together with the utilities to promote the financial programmes offered.  They also develop local partnership programmes that focus on energy saving opportunities; these programmes include providing consumers with guidance, educational materials, training and financial support.

The Policy Tool for Renovation highlights three key areas where Vermont’s Renovation Policy Package excels: overall country reduction targets, utility-funded energy efficiency programmes and a one-stop solution centre.

Over the past 10 years, Vermont’s energy consumption, consumption per floor area, household and capita have all followed a very similar trend.  They have all fluctuated, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing compared to 2000 levels.  Generally, although the fluctuations are quite large, it could be said that the trend has remained largely stable. Population of Vermont is 0.6 million (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012).

Regulatory Measures

Overall Targets

In 2006 Vermont set a target to reduce its GHG emissions by 25% from 1990 levels by 2012, 50% by 2028, and if practical, 75% by 2050. The goals were declared and reinforced by Vermont’s General Assembly under Act No. 168 (S.259) 2006.

Renovation Targets for Residential Buildings

In 2007, the Vermont legislature adopted some sector specific targets related to building energy efficiency. They included:

  • Reduce fuel use and bills by 25% in 60,000 homes by 2017, and in 80,000 homes by 2020
  • Reduce fuel needs and fuel bills by an average of 25% in housing units served by energy utilities

Renovation Targets for Public Buildings

The Climate Change Action Plan for State Government Buildings and Operations (Executive Order), requires state government agencies and departments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from government buildings by 25% by 2012; 50% by 2028; and, if practicable using reasonable efforts, 75% by 2050, from a 1990 baseline.

More info: Efficiency Vermont

Building Assessment

Building Codes Requirements for Renovations

Vermont’s 2011 Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES) are mandatory state-wide and revised every 3 years. In 2011, the RBES references the 2009 IECC whilst adding some strengthening amendments from the 2012 IECC. The building owner/designer/builder can choose whether to use a prescriptive (component based) or performance based compliance path.   Overall performance frame requirements apply to the renovations that occur in Vermont.

Labelling Schemes

It is anticipated that a voluntary scheme will be implemented in 2014. A working group have convened to “develop a consistent format and presentation for an energy rating that an owner of a building may use to disclose the energy performance of the building or a unit within the building to another person, including a potential purchaser or occupant”. 

More info: Government Vermont

Financial Instruments

Incentive Schemes

Most funding in Vermont is provided through utilities and the energy efficiency charge paid by all utility customers. The amount of funding depends on the project, as do the specific improvement works; whether a holistic package and or components are funded.

Taxation Mechanisms

In Vermont, there are federal tax credits for certain energy efficient products can be found here:

More info: Energy Star

A carbon/energy taxing system called RGGI has been established.  It is a sector-specific cap-and-trade system that applies to carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants. It is expected the programme will be a base for emissions trading that be expanded in the future to covering other emission sources/sectors, GHGs. The existing programme addresses approximately 22% of all GHG emissions.  The RGGI will require for gradual reductions from 2009 to 2019, finally achieving 10% reductions by 2019.

More info: Congressional Research Service Report

Economic Instruments

Utility-Funded Energy Efficiency Programmes

Homeowners, business owners, state and municipal government are all entitled to receive the financial instruments provided by utilities, please find list here.

The percentage of funding depends on the programme and on the depth of the improvement. Home Performance with Energy Star programme through Efficiency Vermont has a cap of $2100 per whole house retrofit. 

More info: Efficiency Vermont

Market Instruments for Energy Efficient Renovations

Vermont’s 2012 to 2014 utility reduction targets are 320,000 MWh of energy savings per year and 60.8 MW demand reduction for the summer peak.  The obliged parties are regulated electricity distribution utilities, with the obligation satisfied for most utilities by energy efficiency programmes delivered by an energy efficiency utility

Efficiency Vermont (EVT) serves the majority of the state and is operated by Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC).

More info: Vermont Legislation

General Information & Capacity Building

Training and Education Campaigns

Efficiency Vermont offers state-wide advice on ways to “reduce energy costs, strengthen the local economy, and protect the environment by making homes and businesses energy efficient.”

More info: Efficiency Vermont

One Stop Solution Centre

Efficiency Vermont develops local partnership programmes to target energy savings opportunities for a wide range of customers, providing guidance, educational materials and, some training and financial support; local partners implement projects among their members, residents, and constituents.

More info: Efficiency Vermont

Overall Performance

Please see Create Graphs tab above.