By John McClaughry
A report by Emma Cotton in Vermont Digger (12/14/22) touts the new Weatherization Repayment Assistance Program to be offered to their customers by Green Mountain Power, Vermont Gas, Burlington Electric, and other utilities. It will allow homeowners to spread the cost of weatherizing and installing electric heat pumps over years of utility bills, at an extra cost of as little as $20 per month. Says Maura Collins, executive director of the Vermont Home Financing Agency, “energy savings should more than make up for the new charge that will be on your utility bill.” To assist lower income homeowners and renters, the taxpayers are putting in $9 million.
I don’t know why the taxpayers should be hit up for the $9 million, but overall this is a very responsible program. With the help of the utility, it uses savings from lower energy bills to finance the efficiency improvements that produced the savings.
Forgive me for pointing out that the Ethan Allen Institute has been preaching this gospel since 2011, saying then in a filing on the DPS Comprehensive Energy Plan:
“If such fabulous returns can be achieved through conserving energy, and pocketed by the favored home or business owner, why is it necessary for the rate payers to pay for it? Why don’t the home or business owners invest and pay for the energy improvements, and use their savings on their power bills to pay off their investment, without sending those bills to their neighbors?”
It only took 11 years for these people to catch on.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.