Gov. Scott says Affordable Heating Act ‘still quacks like a duck’

Michael Bielawski/TNR

LEAVE MY TANKS ALONE?: Vermont Democrats want oil and other carbon-associated heating methods out of Vermont homes.

The clean heat standard, which narrowly failed to become law in 2022, may return with a new name: the “Affordable Heating Act.” But Gov. Phil Scott says it will still be “a duck.”

Speaking about the topic on The Morning Drive radio program Tuesday, Scott said a new name won’t change the reality about what the failed legislation proposes.

“If [lawmakers] move forward with that and call it by a different name, and if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck,” the governor said.

He reiterated his stance that policies such as the clean heat standard should properly belong to the elected officials in the legislature, not unelected bureaucracies.

“If they bring it forward, again depending on what they do, if they have the Public Utility Commission, if they just punt it over to them and let them deal with it and then they just sign off on it, that doesn’t work for me,” Scott said. “… Debate it within full view of the public and let them get involved and weigh in on it as well.”

Who has the bigger mandate?

The governor also suggested he has a mandate from the voters to push for accountability on the clean heat standard.

“I believe I won every single district,” he said. “In some cases, I probably received more votes than the individual representatives and senators. … I have concerns about this, and we’ll work through this, but I will make it clear as I did before, if you’re going to do this, it’s got to come back to the legislature.”

Governor endorses new nuclear technology

Speaking about a new “nuclear fusion” energy technology breakthrough that has made headlines,  Scott said it could be a “game changer.”

“This is a game changer, this is really exciting,” he said. “This is a way to bring safe nuclear power to the fold. And I’m looking forward to that. But again, that nuclear power is still electric, so that is good, we need base power like that.”

Vermont Yankee, a 600-Megawatt major energy source was shut down in 2014, creating a massive energy vacancy. The plant supplied 71.8% of all Vermont power production when operational.

Are turbines/solar panels feasible for baseload?

To put Vermont Yankee’s power output in perspective with the popular green tech alternatives, an average industrial-scale wind turbine costs between $2.6 and $4 million to produce and has a capacity of 2-3 megawatt output. This means it would take hundreds of such installations to replicate Vermont Yankee’s outputs.

A caller on Tuesday’s radio show made a similar assessment of the latest solar technology, stating that replacing Vermont Yankee with solar power would require a solar panel large enough to cover all of the land of Chittenden County.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

15 thoughts on “Gov. Scott says Affordable Heating Act ‘still quacks like a duck’

  1. Vermont is lucky to have Gov. Scott. Be careful what you wish for. The alternative is Gov. Krowinski or Gov. Sirotkin…

  2. How did this guy ever become governor. He’s really dumb, isn’t he? He hasn’t figured it out, yet. Slow.

  3. There will be nothing affordable in this proposal. This is just ANOTHER touchy feely lie in a name.
    This God legislature is so incredibly disrespectful of the average Vermonter. They treat us like crap and seem to think that we are stupid enough to believe their propaganda. Unfortunately, they seem to be right.

    A note on heat pumps.
    Why is efficiency Vermont allowed to publish the following statement in their recent letter pushing heat pump subsidies: “Heat pumps are three times more efficient than an oil or propane system, which can save on heating or cooling costs.” Wow! Just like that. Problem solved……..not. I find nothing to support this blanket statement.

    Does anyone have information that does ?

    • Read my comments, based on real life experience, not on bulls..t fantasies promulgated by Efficiency Vermont to deceive and dupe gullible Vermonters into buying heat pumps.

      Heat pumps are totally useless at low temperatures, when a building needs the most heat.

      Some of these lying government supported/coddled bureaucrats should be put in jail.

      • Willem, I have read them, both recent and past. I should clarify my question. The proponents of these BSF must have some semi-official documentation that backs up their claims. I was wondering what it is exactly. It might be helpful. You can’t defeat an idea without understanding it’s advocates underlying reasons for their support of it.

        • Steve,

          What is BSF?

          I have seen the “analyses/statements” of heat pump bureaucrat/proponents.
          They echo each other to maintain a consistent government message of deception, which likely lines their own and their friends and their families pockets by deceiving/screwing everyone else.

          Their message is big-time BS, based on making favorable assumptions, bending the numbers, so legislators are properly deceived, and so they have “cover your a.., CYA”.

          Logrolling comes to mind

          I bought my own heat pumps for $24,000, and installed measurement systems.
          My three years of data proves, DPS, and EV, and VPIRG, and PUC, and VEIC, etc., numbers are bull manure.

          Because, I am an energy systems engineer, I already knew what my HP outcome would be.
          The measurements merely confirmed my numbers.

          This morning 5 F at 7 AM
          I did not use my heat pumps, because they would have enriched GMP.
          My measurements showed they would cost more per hour than my propane furnace

          I used my highly efficient propane furnace

          Too bad most heat pump owners are flying blind in la-la-land thinking they will save the world by becoming poorer.


  4. It was zero F this morning

    I did not turn on my 3 heat pumps (turnkey cost $24,000, less $2,400 GMP subsidy), because they would be very inefficient
    It would be like heating my house with electricity!!!

    GMP would love it, but I would be screwed with huge electric bills

    Instead, I turned on my highly efficient (up to 95% in condensing mode), propane furnace.

    My well-insulated and sealed house is nice and warm

    In fact, I never turn on my heat pumps when it is 15 F or less, because they would cost more per hour than my propane furnace, based on my measurements

  5. Fusion is total crock

    A small nuclear power plant, efficiency of about 30%, would be needed to provide power to any fusion power plant.

    The heat from fusion would need to be used to produce superheated steam for a turbine-generator to make electricity, efficiency about 30%.

    The overall efficiency would be 30% x 30% = 9%

    It sounds like a great way to go to ……ignoramuses

    • Fusion power plants are possible on the electricity grid within the next decade, a potential game changer that could supply a limitless amount of carbon-free power, former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Thursday, 12-15-22.

      Come on, Willem. First you said fusion was at least 2 decades away. Now it’s a total crock? How about citing some articles to support your position.

      And still no comment on HQ power? … the most feasible and cost effective bridge technology available to us.

      Who do you work for?

      • Jay,

        It takes at least 10 years to build ONE 2200 MW nuclear plant, using 70-year-old, well-developed, technology.

        Fusion power plants will not be in use TO PROVIDE RELIABLE POWER TO THE GRID, until at least 2050 or later.

        Moniz, is smart, but no energy systems engineer. HE IS JUST CHIMING INTO THE GOVERNMENT PR MESSAGING FOR THE IGNORATI.

        HQ could provide about an ADDITIONAL 5000 MW x 8766 h/y x 0.5, capacity factor = 22 billion kWh/y total exports to NY and NE, on an ANNUAL BASIS.

        There would be events, as in Europe, with low water in reservoirs, and low winds over large areas, which would prevent HQ from exporting hydro electricity.

        Norway stopped hydro electricity exports to Germany no matter how much the despairing Germans are willing to pay

        The U.S. has its own oil, gas and coal, unlike Europe

        • Willem: I agree with all of the above, except your projection of timing regarding fusion power. Especially given what Evslin referred to as a fusion ‘Manhattan Project’. I’m confident that fusion power is closer than you think (my opinion). And I also agree with reconstituting American fossil fuel independence. Not everyone has access to HQ power. How long, for example, will it take to replace all power generation with wind and solar sources? …if that is even possible. Even the climate change zealots project doomsday out to the end of the 21st century. We have time.

          But for Vermont, a small State by any measure, HQ power is here, now, and as ‘green’ as any other source. Yes, there may be drought years. Anything is possible. But I find no accounting that HQ has ever experienced such a drought in the last 50 years. Again, risk v. reward.

          My point about HQ power is that it’s available for 7 cents per kwh… today. HQ already supplies 30% of the State’s power. The HQ holding company already owns Green Mountain Power, Central Vermont Public Service, and a dozen or so dams on the CT River. Using HQ power is, literally, a virtual matter of flipping a switch. Why spend 21 cents a kwh for wind and solar? That doesn’t make any sense.

          Even given unanticipated (and highly unlikely) drought conditions, HQ power is as politically palatable as any other source. If anything, using more HQ power will expose the graft and corruption of the solar and wind people, not to mention the ‘carbon credit’ scam, for what it is. And while using HQ power can bridge the gap between today and the eventuality of fusion, cutting our current power bills in half, today, is the icing on the cake.

          • Jay,

            I studied fusion and other such matters at PhD level at RPI
            Regarding fusion, I am not confident of anything by 2030, in 8 years, “Manhattan Project or not”
            That is just PR blather.

            HQ supply to Vermont is about 1.2 billion kWh/y, at about 6 to 7 c/kWh, per 20-y contract.

            Total Vermont supply is about 6.0 billion kWh/y = 6 TWh

            The HQ supply is fed into the NE high voltage grid and instantly becomes part of the NE mix; it has to do with electricity distribution at near the speed of light

            GMP, etc., get almost all of their electricity supply directly from the NE high voltage grid, via substations owned by GMP, etc.

          • Re: ” I am not confident of anything by 2030.”

            Neither am I, Willem. At my age, 8 years seems no longer than a long winter used to feel as a kid. But 10 or 20 years out is not beyond reasonable expectations… and worth the effort.

            Regardless of how the HQ electricity is laundered through the NE grid, a 7 cent per kwh wholesale rate beats 21 cents per kwh for wind and solar no matter how its sliced. And keep in mind too, we use backup generating capacity from the Seabrook nuclear plant today at about the same wholesale price as HQ. One thing is certain… our incestuous Public Utilities Commissioners and the Efficiency Vermont folks are doing us no favors.

Comments are closed.