In December, Governor Peter Shumlin (and others) released the final Comprehensive Energy Plan. The Energy Plan will largely remove Vermont’s reliance on fossil fuels by 2050. This new Energy Plan results in the first Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan since the late 1990s, and is comprised of electricity, heating and process fuels, and energy in transportation and land use decisions. The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is currently part of Vermont’s energy mix, but the station’s license expires in March of 2012 and is not expected to be part of the energy source mix going forward. The main source of the 2025 mix will come from hydropower (41%), followed by thermal generation and market purchases (25%), with biomass, wind, solar and other existing renewable resources rounding the mix out.
The Energy Plan is showing a steady growth in local jobs through the year 2025, at which time it levels off for a few years before showing a slight incline. The Energy Plan is also predicting a growth in Gross State Product and wage income. Governor Shumlin said, “Vermont needs to move forward to protect our environment, gain greater energy independence, and drive innovation and jobs in the energy sectors. This Plan puts us on that path.”
The Plan calls for a greater use of clean, renewable sources and a greater efficiency in the use of the renewable sources such as electricity, heating and transportation. Ensuring that energy costs for Vermont businesses and residents remain competitive is a goal of The Plan, and must be pursued responsibly. Approximately one quarter of Vermont’s current energy use comes from renewable energy sources. Many benefits will come from Vermont becoming nearly fossil-fuel free by 2050. Some of the benefits include:
Vermont businesses have been pursuing becoming more ‘green’ not only for environmental concerns, but also in an effort to drive down costs and protect their investments. Installing more energy-efficient lighting, lighting controls, having their building re-tuned or having the HVAC system commissioned are all ways businesses can operate more ‘green’ while saving money. Many companies have realized their facility is an asset that requires upkeep and maintenance to ensure proper functionality, efficiency and value. Keeping your systems fully tuned and maintained is important for keeping the facility operating efficiently and saving money, and is essential for protecting your investment.