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Program/Services ♦ Program Delivery/Coordination/Development ♦ Finance/Funding ♦ Measurement & Tracking Development
The DPS created and facilitates a task force to ensure an integrated and comprehensive statewide whole-building approach to thermal energy efficiency that will put Vermont on the path toward meeting the goals set forth in statute, which include:
- Improving the energy fitness of 25% of the state’s housing stock by 2020 (approximately 80,000 housing units).
- Reducing annual fuel needs and fuel bills by an average of 25% in housing units served.
- Reducing total fossil fuel consumption across all buildings by an additional one-half percent each year, leading to a total reduction of 6% annually by 2017 and 10% annually by 2025.
- Saving VT families and businesses a total of $1.5 billion on their fuel bills over the lifetimes of the improvements and measures installed.
- Increasing weatherization services to low income Vermonters by expanding the number of units weatherized, or the scope of services provided, or both.
- The task force will complete initial analysis and recommendations by the end of December 2012 and will address the following areas:
Building upon the work accomplished in the Comprehensive Energy Plan and related recent reports and efforts, the Task Force will first work to clearly identify: 1) all current market actors delivering thermal efficiency services; 2) programs providing incentives and technical assistance; and 3) the relationship between and interrelatedness of electric and thermal efficiency measures and services. The assessment will also consider the following:
- Whether all consumers/market sectors (including low and middle income consumers, renters, historic building owners, small businesses, etc.) are being adequately addressed through the existing programs/services.
- Whether consideration of renewables for heating (such as biomass and geothermal systems) should be included in the Taskforce and/or through a subcommittee.
- Where Vermont currently stands relative to the statutory goals for improving the energy efficiency of Vermont homes and other buildings.
- The relationship between electric and thermal efficiency measures to ascertain electric savings gained from implementing thermal efficiency measures and vice versa.
The Task Force will address consumer barriers and develop recommendations designed to achieve, from a customer’s point of view, a smooth “one-stop” approach to energy efficiency projects. Examples of activities in this area will include:
- Develop a plan to address any major gaps in the consumer/market sectors
Develop a Coordination, Outreach, and Training plan to ensure that information and adequate training is being provided to energy service providers in a timely, ongoing fashion.
- Assess how current and potential energy service providers, including local fuel dealers, can best be encouraged to fully participate in existing thermal efficiency programs/incentives.
- Assess what contractors, fuel dealers, and other small business or self employed Vermonters need to be able to offer efficiency home improvement services (training in whole building performance services, business planning, sales and marketing skills, etc.)
- Identify areas of the state lacking effective programs or an adequate number of service providers and develop a plan to build that capacity where needed
- Map out a clear, simple process that service providers can implement and consumers can follow to quickly and easily make energy efficiency improvements in their buildings, from assessment through financing and implementation. This should include consideration of various consumers – low income, middle income, and small business, for example – having different points of entry and/or program support and ensure that from an individual customer’s point of view the process is smooth even though multiple program types and deliveries exist.
- Designate a central location, through a coordinated website perhaps, to be the statewide repository for information and advice on all programs/services available in the state.
The Task Force will make recommendations regarding the level of money needed to achieve the state’s thermal efficiency goals and will identify financing mechanisms and funding sources to get us there. Examples of activities in this area will include:
- Consider the mix of funding vs. financing needs for various market segments, e.g., low, moderate, high-income.
Explore potential financing mechanisms, recommend and prioritize which ones should be pursued, and create a plan for doing so, including:
- Utility On-bill Financing
- Energy-Efficient Mortgages
- Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Districts
- Public-Purpose Energy Savings Company
- Investigate other private financing options
- Identify all current and possible funding sources and recommend what sources should be pursued and at what level, balanced with financing options.
- Investigate steps necessary to better incorporate a buildings’ efficacy into traditional lending considerations.
The Task Force will investigate and recommend a system to measure progress; track results and benefits; and develop interim benchmarks, to meet the state’s building efficiency goals. Examples of activities in this area will include:
- Recommend a designated entity to be responsible for tracking progress.
- Develop a tracking process to ensure the state will have an accurate count of how many buildings have been improved and an accurate picture of the extent and cost/benefits of those improvements.
- Develop a timeline for meeting the state’s building efficiency goals.