Meeting Montpelier’s goal of Net Zero Energy use by 2030 is an ambitious task to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a clean energy economy. Our overall approach focuses on the following:
Thermal Energy – The most significant challenge to transitioning to Net Zero thermal energy will be achieving deep efficiency retrofits to public and private buildings. The major strategies Montpelier will use in this area include:
- Aggressive efficiency programs through Efficiency Vermont;
- Development of new finance products to fuel the low and middle income markets; and
- Extensive public outreach and neighbor-to-neighbor education efforts from trusted local sources in the City.
Transportation Energy – As Montpelier is the capital of a rural, car-dependent state, transportation energy use is a particular challenge, and a valuable model for other rural areas of the nation. This challenge is increased by the fact that long-range electric vehicles are still an emerging technology. The major strategies Montpelier will use in this area include:
- Reducing vehicle miles traveled through expanding public transportation options;
- Shifting from gas powered vehicles to high efficiency Electric Vehicles;
- Installing a robust EV charging infrastructure; and
- Installing renewably-powered EV charging capacity at homes, businesses and public institutions.
Electric Energy – Vermont already leads the US in terms of renewable electricity generation and is poised to continue to lead in this area through a range of innovative strategies. The major challenges in this sector are related to increasing electric power needs as we move to strategic electrification through cold climate heat pumps and electric vehicles. In Montpelier, efforts will focus on:
- Expanding solar capacity through “community net-metering” approach to solar energy; and
- Developing new community ownership models for larger solar and wind projects to increase local investment and reduce opposition.