Scott administration says clean heat bill will cost $1.2B

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:30 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Scott administration estimates a proposed thermal energy bill before the Legislature will cost upwards of $1.2 billion over the next seven years.

The Affordable Heat Act seeks to transition home heating away from fossil fuels by incentivizing Vermonters to switch to more eco-friendly forms of home heating. It’s expected to save billions of dollars in the long run but will require major investments to change the state’s energy infrastructure including cold climate heat pumps, water pumps, and weatherization.

Vt. Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore says there will also be a .70 cent per gallon increase in heating fuel costs in 2026 as a result of the bill. “I worked as a modeler before joining the Agency of Natural Resources and we used to say, ‘All models are wrong, some models are useful.’ I’m confident that .70-cents is wrong, but at the same time I think it does give a clear sense for the magnitude of the impact that should be expected on fuel prices,” Moore said.

The Affordable Heat Act is seen by Legislative leaders as the centerpiece of meeting the state’s emission reduction goals set forth in the Global Warming Solutions Act.

Governor Phil Scott in a letter to lawmakers last week said he remains opposed to the current bill and that it shares too many similarities with the Clean Heat Standard that he vetoed last year.

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