Roll Call: House ‘check back’ delays clean heat standard until costs are known

Editor’s note: Roll Call is published by the Ethan Allen Institute.

H.715, an act relating to the clean heat standard, passed in the State House of Representatives on May 3, 2022, by a vote of 88-37.

Purpose: H.715 as amended obligates the PUC to design the Clean Heat Standard program, and then check back with the Legislature in 2023 and 2024. The House and Senate must approve the PUC’s recommendations. The Senate’s H.715 allocates $1.2 million to create and the study the Clean Heat Standard’s impact on Vermont.

To create the Clean Heat Standard (CHS), one of the central components of the Climate Action Plan (CAP), drafted by unelected renewable energy advocates. The Clean Heat Standard authorizes Vermont’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to create a market for “clean heat credits,” set to go online in 2024. These credits can be generated by any Vermont company or individual weatherizing businesses and homes, or through replacing fossil fuel appliances with renewable-powered heating appliances, with the price set annually by the PUC each year. If heating fuel sellers do not create enough credits themselves through such installations, they must purchase credits generated by others on a marketplace to stay in business.

Example: Whenever a heating fuel supplier sells a gallon of heating oil to a customer in Year 1, that gallon generates an obligation for Year 2. In Year 2, the fuel seller can choose to fulfill their obligation by installing weatherization and renewable heating appliances. Or, by purchasing clean heat credits from installers on the CHS market.

Analysis: Those voting YES believe the Clean Heat Standard will greatly help Vermont achieve its GWSA 2025 & 2030 greenhouse gas reduction mandates, and give Vermont the moral authority to do its part fighting climate change, saving Vermonters from paying high heating fuel prices, while bolstering a renewable industry with more jobs. All of those voting YES trust the PUC to implement the Clean Heat Standard without needing further legislative approval, having voted down an amendment requiring legislative approval after design has been completed.

Those voting NO believe the Clean Heat Standard would lead to extreme hardship for many of the 200,000 households who use some form of fossil fuel to heat their home (about 3 in 4 of all Vermont households). For some, heating fuel would become more expensive, as heating fuel providers pass on some of the added cost of clean heat credits to their customers. For others, heating their homes would become impossible, because the only fossil fuel providers servicing their area will have gone out of business after not being able to afford clean heat credits.

A few ‘lucky’ households will have the privilege of paying top dollar to appliance installers so they aren’t left in the cold. However, committee testimony suggests there aren’t enough installers to cover government-manufactured demand for such appliances. Worse still, testimony also suggests many renewable heating appliances are do not provide adequate heating during the coldest winter months. There are about 100 fossil fuel providers in Vermont. A few large providers like Vermont Gas can  capitalize on H.715, by earning credits through installations and by having the flexibility to charge higher prices once their competition succumbs to the CHS.

As Recorded in the House Journal, for Tuesday, May 3, 2022: “Shall the House concur in the Senate proposal of amendment?, was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 88. Nays, 37.” (Read the Journal p. 1604 – 1622).

HOW THEY VOTED

Sally Achey (R – Middletown Springs) – NO
Janet Ancel (D – Calais) – YES
Peter Anthony (D – Barre City) – YES
Norman Arrison (D – Weathersfield) – YES
Sarita Austin (D – Colchester) – YES
John Bartholomew (D – Hartland) – YES
Scott Beck (R – St. Johnsbury) – ABSENT
Matthew Birong (D – Vergennes) – YES
Alyssa Black (D – Essex) – YES
Tiffany Bluemle (D – Burlington) – YES
Thomas Bock (D – Chester) – ABSENT
Seth Bongartz (D – Manchester) – YES
Michelle Bos-Lun (D – Westminster) – YES
Erin Brady (D – Williston) – YES
Patrick Brennan (R – Colchester) – NO
Timothy Briglin (D – Thetford) – YES
Jana Brown (D – Richmond) – YES
Nelson Brownell (D – Pownal) – ABSENT
Jessica Brumsted (D – Shelburne) – YES
Thomas Burditt (R – West Rutland) – ABSENT
Mollie Burke (P/D – Brattleboro) – YES
Elizabeth Burrows (P/D – West Windsor) – YES
Scott Campbell (D – St. Johnsbury) – YES
Bill Canfield (R – Fair Haven) – NO
Seth Chase (D – Colchester) – YES
Kevin “Coach” Christie (D – Hartford) – YES
Brian Cina (P/D – Burlington) – ABSENT
Sara Coffey (D – Guilford) – YES
Selene Colburn (P/D – Burlington) – ABSENT
Hal Colston (D – Winooski) – ABSENT
Peter Conlon (D – Cornwall) – YES
Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D – Bradford) – YES
Timothy Corcoran (D – Bennington) – YES
Mari Cordes (D/P – Lincoln) – YES
Lawrence Cupoli (R – Rutland City) – NO
Lynn Dickinson (R – St. Albans Town) – NO
Karen Dolan (D – Essex) – YES
Kari Dolan (D – Waitsfield) – YES
Anne Donahue (R – Northfield) – YES
Kate Donnally (D – Hyde Park) – YES
David Durfee (D – Shaftsbury) – YES
Caleb Elder (D – Starksboro) – ABSENT
Alice Emmons (D – Springfield) – YES
Peter Fagan (R – Rutland City) – NO
Martha Feltus (R – Lyndon) – NO
John Gannon (D – Wilmington) – YES
Rey Garofano (D – Essex) – YES
Leslie Goldman (D – Bellows Falls) – YES
Kenneth Goslant (R – Northfield) – NO
Maxine Grad (D – Moretown) – YES
Rodney Graham (R – Williamstown) – ABSENT
James Gregoire (R – Fairfield) – NO
Lisa Hango (R – Berkshire) – NO
James Harrison (R – Chittenden) – ABSENT
Robert Helm (R – Fair Haven) – NO
Mark Higley (R – Lowell) – ABSENT
Robert Hooper (D – Burlington) – ABSENT
Mary Hooper (D – Montpelier) – YES
Philip Hooper (D – Randolph) – YES
Lori Houghton (D – Essex) – YES
Mary Howard (D – Rutland) – YES
Kathleen James (D – Manchester) – YES
Stephanie Jerome (D – Brandon) – ABSENT
Kimberly Jessup (D – Middlesex) – YES
John Kascenska (R – Burke) – NO
John Killacky (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Charles Kimbell (D – Woodstock) – YES
Warren Kitzmiller (D – Montpelier) – ABSENT
Emilie Kornheiser (D – Brattleboro) – YES
Jill Krowinski (D – Burlington) – PRESIDING
Larry Labor (R – Morgan) – ABSENT
Robert LaClair (R – Barre) – NO
Martin LaLonde (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Diane Lanpher (D – Vergennes) –YES
Wayne LaRoche (R – Franklin) – NO
Paul Lefebvre (R – Newark) – YES
Samantha Lefebvre (R – Orange) – NO
Felisha Leffler (R – Enosburgh) – NO
William Lippert (D – Hinesburg) – YES
Emily Long (D – Newfane) – YES
Michael Marcotte (R – Coventry) – NO
Marcia Martel (R – Waterford) – ABSENT
James Masland (D – Thetford) – YES
Christopher Mattos (R – Milton) – ABSENT
Michael McCarthy (D – St. Albans City) – YES
Curtis McCormack (D – Burlington) – YES
Patricia McCoy (R – Poultney) – NO
James McCullough (D – Williston) – YES
Francis McFaun (R – Barre Town) – NO
Leland Morgan (R – Milton) – NO
Michael Morgan (R – Milton) – NO ABSENT
Kristi Morris (D – Springfield) – YES
Mary Morrissey (R – Bennington) – NO
Michael Mrowicki (D – Putney) – YES
Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (D – Burlington) – YES
Barbara Murphy (I – Fairfax) – NO
Logan Nicoll (D – Ludlow) – YES
Michael Nigro (D – Bennington) – YES
Robert Norris (R – Sheldon) – NO
Terry Norris (I – Shoreham) – NO
William Notte (D – Rutland) – YES
Daniel Noyes (D – Wolcott) – YES
John O’Brien (D – Tunbridge) – ABSENT
Carol Ode (D – Burlington) – YES
“Woody” Page (R – Newport City) – ABSENT
Kelly Pajala (I – Londonderry) – YES
John Palasik (R – Milton) – ABSENT
Joseph Parsons (R – Newbury) – NO
Carolyn Partridge (D – Windham) – YES
Avram Patt (D – Worcester) – YES
Henry Pearl (D – Danville) – ABSENT
Arthur Peterson (R – Clarendon) – NO
Ann Pugh (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Barbara Rachelson (D/P – Burlington) – YES
Lucy Rogers (D – Waterville) – V
Carl Rosenquist (R – Georgia) – NO
Larry Satcowitz (D – Randolph) – YES
Robin Scheu (D – Middlebury) – YES
Heidi Scheuermann (R – Stowe) – NO
Charles “Butch” Shaw (R – Pittsford) – NO
Amy Sheldon (D – Middlebury) – YES
Laura Sibilia (I – Dover) – YES
Katherine Sims (D – Craftsbury) – YES
Taylor Small (P/D – Winooski) – NO
Brian Smith (R – Derby) – ABSENT
Harvey Smith (R – New Haven) – ABSENT
Trevor Squirrell (D – Underhill) – YES
Gabrielle Stebbins (D – Burlington) – YES
Thomas Stevens (D – Waterbury) – YES
Vicki Strong (R – Albany) – NO
Linda Joy Sullivan (D – Dorset) – ABSENT
Heather Suprenant (D – Barnard) – NO
Curt Taylor (D – Colchester) – YES
Thomas Terenzini (R – Rutland Town) – ABSENT
George Till (D – Jericho) – ABSENT
Tristan Toleno (D – Brattleboro) – YES
Casey Toof (R – St. Albans Town) – NO
Maida Townsend (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Joseph “Chip” Troiano (D – Stannard) – YES
Tanya Vyhovsky (P/D – Essex) – YES
Matt Walker (R – Swanton) – NO
Tommy Walz (D – Barre City) – YES
Kathryn Webb (D – Shelburne) – YES
Kirk White (P/D – Bethel) – YES
Rebecca White (D – Hartford) – ABSENT
Dane Whitman (D – Bennington) – YES
Terri Lynn Williams (R – Granby) – NO
Theresa Wood (D – Waterbury) – YES
David Yacovone (D – Morristown) – YES
Michael Yantachka (D – Charlotte) – YES

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR
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5 thoughts on “Roll Call: House ‘check back’ delays clean heat standard until costs are known

  1. A better analogy of the Yes NO vote would be those voting No feel the pain of Vermont
    taxpayers who foot the bill for the indiscriminate bills set forth by loonies in other places,
    The Yes votes don’t give a dam about you as it’s all about their feelings and bad
    information from the UN and leftist think tanks… It’s a scam you dolts the UN said in the
    80’s countries would be under water by 2000, yet we have our millionaire political hacks
    buying mansions on the sea shore.. Wake up voters no more D’s, we can’t afford them
    any longer. And agreed on the Absent, what the hell are you running for office if you can’t take the time to vote.

  2. Regarding CHS, I have some comments.

    Read the whole article by opening the URL

    HEAT PUMPS ARE MONEY LOSERS IN MY VERMONT HOUSE, AS THEY ARE IN ALMOST ALL NEW ENGLAND HOUSES
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/heat-pumps-are-money-losers-in-my-vermont-house-as-they-are-in

    Vermont “Electrify-Everything” Goals Will Cost $Billions and Will Reduce Little CO2

    The Vermont state government wants to electrify-everything (heat pumps, electric cars, and transit and school buses, no matter the:

    1) Very high turnkey capital cost,
    2) Very meager energy cost savings
    3) Very meager CO2 reductions, on an A-to-Z, lifetime basis.

    VT-DPS Survey of Vermont Heat Pumps

    VT-DPS commissioned CADMUS to perform a survey of Vermont heat pumps, after numerous complaints from HP users regarding: 1) high electric bills and 2) minimal annual savings

    The average energy cost savings regarding HPs was about $200/HP, as proven by the CADMUS survey report of operating data of 77 existing HP installations.

    Those meager energy savings would be more than offset by the annual amortizing cost of $4,500/HP at 3.5%/y for 15 years, plus any annual maintenance costs, and parts and labor costs. HPs are money losers for Vermonters. See URLs

    The result of Vermont’s HP saga been:

    1) Lucrative benefits to the Efficiency-Vermont-Approved HP installers
    2) Lucrative benefits to Canadian-owned GMP, which sells oodles more high-priced electricity.
    3) Everyone else getting royally screwed; an example of “fighting” climate change, a la Don-Quixote tilting at wind mills.

    My Experience with Heat Pumps in my Well-Insulated, Well-Sealed House

    I installed three heat pumps by Mitsubishi, rated 24,000 Btu/h at 47F, Model MXZ-2C24NAHZ2, each with 2 heads, each with remote control; 2 in the living room, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in each of 3 bedrooms.

    The HPs have DC variable-speed, motor-driven compressors and fans, which improves the efficiency of low-temperature operation.
    The HPs last about 15 years. Turnkey capital cost was $24,000. GMP, the electric utility, provided a $2,400 subsidy.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-of-HPs-is-based-on-misrepresentations

    My house has a wall-hung, efficient, propane furnace to provide: 1) space heating, and 2) domestic hot water, year-round.

    The basement has a near-steady temperature throughout the year, because it has 2” of blueboard, R-10, on the outside of the concrete foundation and under the basement slab; the thermal storage of the concrete acts as a temperature stabilizer, which has saved me many thousands of space heating dollars over 35 years.

    Winter Operation: Downstairs heads are used for space heating during winter. Upstairs heads are always off during winter.
    If the sun is shining, my south-facing house warms up, and the HPs can be turned off by about 10 AM. They are turned on again around 4 to 5 PM

    The basement has two small propane heaters to provide space heat to my 1,300 sq ft basement during winter; that heat rises to warm up the first floor. The heaters require no electricity, which is beneficial during a power outage.

    Summer Operation: The downstairs and upstairs heads are used for space cooling during hot days in summer

    Hourly Operating Cost of HPs Versus Efficient Propane Furnaces

    Cold Weather Test: On 22 January, 2022, the temperature was -20F at my house. As a test, I operated my kitchen heat pump. After about 15 minutes, there was lukewarm air coming from the wall-mounted unit, but it was much less warm, than it would be at, say 15F. That lukewarm air did not heat my kitchen from 6 AM to 9 AM, so I turned off the HP and turned on my wall-hung, propane heater.

    Conclusion: 1) The name cold-climate HP is merely an advertising gimmick, and 2) HPs are economic:

    1) Down to about 15F to 20F in my well-sealed, well-insulated house, depending on wind and sun conditions
    2) Down to about 28F to 35F in average Vermont houses, which are energy hogs, by modern standards

  3. If all the absent Republicans had voted against it,the bill would not have passed with a veto proof majority

    • Willem, and therein lies the problem……..Republicans/Conservatives, I don’t see them
      and the VT GOP wants begs for your money, why !!

    • Thank you Willem. That’s a clear message to voters, if they think about it. I hope that the “too busy” (or too cowardly) R “representatives” do think about it.
      Hopefully, they will find some time so as to not be too busy to do their jobs, or grow a spine for the veto over-ride vote. There may still be a chance for sanity. Hopefully they will show some compassion for the Vermonters that are suffering. These suffering people are the backbone of this State. They are rapidly becoming fewer, (dying, fleeing.) People that work, keeping the state operating are not rich, nor, at the opposite end, dependent on the state. They are the middle people.
      Maybe, after thinking, even some of the “Dems-Progs” will also show compassion, and change their votes. If you don’t know how damaging the result of passing a very expensive bill will be, a rational person votes “NO”. They don’t say “Well, some unaccountable board will figure that out.’ How many rational people are left in Montpelier?
      We cannot stand much more of this.

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