Burlington considers carbon fee for new construction

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Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:15 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A new carbon fee aimed at spurring the use of renewable energy could be on Burlington voters’ ballots in March.

Back in 2021, voters and the Legislature approved giving the city the ability to charge a fee to new buildings that don’t use renewable energy for heating. Since that was passed, the Burlington Electric Department has come out with its new thermal policy detailing what they believe the cost should be.

If passed by voters, this policy would only impact new construction beginning in 2024, buildings over 50,000 square feet, and city buildings. If developers choose to use fossil fuels, there will be an upfront cost equal to the total greenhouse gas impact it will be.

“We want to have a level playing field where we are accounting for the cost of pollution. When you’re using fossil fuels you’re putting up fuels in terms of carbon that has an impact on our environment and we are trying to account for that in the policy,” said BED’s Darren Springer.

The measure will be considered by the council on Monday evening before voters would see it on the 2022 ballot.

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