Speaker and State Treasurer Meet With WRC Commissioners and Energy Coordinators
Our conference room was bustling on February 24th as nearly 20 members from the WRC’s Energy Committee, Public Policy and Legislative Committee, and Town Energy Coordinators gathered to speak with Vermont Speaker of the House Shap Smith and State Treasurer Beth Pearce. The Speaker and State Treasurer each had other engagements in Brattleboro later in the evening, but generously arrived early to hear from constituents on energy issues and related policy. This opportunity was organized by Betty Frye, resident of Guilford, who was hosting the Speaker at a meeting afterward.
Both guests were given the opportunity to speak for a few minutes. They discussed topics such as Act No. 87, which encourages investment in clean energy improvements through the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA, and the proposed net-metering bill which will continue to provide incentive for the installation of small-scale distributed energy by raising the net-metering cap for utility companies from 4 to 15 percent.
The floor was then opened for meeting participants to share their thoughts. Attendees addressed a range of issues from creating energy efficiency training programs in the construction industry, to cluster distribution of compressed natural gas. In response to concerns about the use of clean energy development funds as outlined in the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the state and Entergy Vermont Yankee, the Speaker assured attendants that he was committed to ensuring that a portion of the funds be spent on clean energy development in the Windham Region. Weatherization and the development of renewable energy were themes carried throughout discussion.