Vermont Public Service Department Announces Process for 2015 Update to the Comprehensive Energy Plan
The Vermont Public Service Department today announced its process for updating the Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP), which is required to be completed by the end of 2015. The Department will solicit public input through a series of meetings this summer, as well as through written comments, and produce a draft CEP by September. That draft plan will then be available for additional public review and input throughout the fall, with a final CEP to be completed by the end of the year.
“The Comprehensive Energy Plan shapes how government, utilities, and the private sector approach our state’s energy challenges,” said Commissioner of Public Service Christopher Recchia. “In turn, the CEP is shaped by the input we receive from Vermonters. I look forward to hearing and learning from all Vermonters about both our successes and our challenges as we go forward to continue to strengthen Vermont’s energy security, our economy, the comfort of our citizenry and protection of the environment. The CEP update is an opportunity to focus our strategies and priorities toward these goals.”
The current Comprehensive Energy Plan was completed in 2011. It established a state goal of meeting 90% of Vermont’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2050, underpinned by a strategy of virtually eliminating Vermont’s reliance on oil by mid-century through enhanced efficiency and increased use of renewable energy in heating, transportation, and electric power. Progress toward this goal will foster economic security and independence, safeguard our environment, drive in-state innovation and job creation, and increase community involvement and investment.
In the 2015 CEP update, the Department and its partner agencies intend to identify prioritized strategies to make concrete progress toward energy goals. The updated CEP will incorporate the best current knowledge regarding Vermont’s energy options and their impacts on our economy, environment, and the public health. To gather this information, the Department will host topical stakeholder meetings in Montpelier on June 24 and 30, and public meetings around the state during the month of July.
Along with the plan for public input via meetings and written comments, the Department released a set of questions on which it is especially seeking public input. These questions cover topics such as:
- Whether to set sector-based or economy-wide renewable energy goals for 2025, in addition to the longer-term goal of 90% renewable by 2050 that was established in the 2011 CEP;
- How Vermont energy policy should address the potential use of liquid biofuels (such as biodiesel, ethanol, and bioheat blends) for heating and transportation; and
- How the CEP should address the potential for fostering breakout clean energy firms that can export their products and services.
The full list of questions can be downloaded at the CEP project webpage, www.energyplan.vt.gov, where up to date information will be available about the project. The Department has developed an online tool to collect answers to these and other questions, as well as general comments; it is linked from the project webpage.