Transportation energy is a multifaceted issue that cuts across state agencies, therefore the Department of Public Service (PSD) collaborates with other state agencies as well as external stakeholders. These activities include addressing transportation efficiency, alternatives to motor vehicle travel, land use policies/programs related to mobility, and the increased use of alternative fuel vehicles. The PSD also monitors fuel supplies and prices.
Transportation Goals per the 2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan
The 2011 Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) describes Vermont’s transportation energy usage and recommends strategies to advance transportation energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy for transportation. Strategies include switching from petroleum to electricity and other fuels, reducing the prevalence of single occupancy vehicle travel, and improving access to modes of transportation other than cars. Aligning with the 2011 CEPs recommendations, former governor Peter Shumlin signed Resolution 36-2 Concerning Transportation in 2012, along with other New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers. This resolution expresses the states’ and provinces’ support for advanced and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure.
Vermont's transportation energy strategies fall under two overarching goals:
Petroleum consumption and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be reduced with the adoption of more fuel efficient vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and flex-fuel vehicles, as well as vehicles running solely on alternative fuels like electricity, natural gas, and biofuels.
Overall energy consumption and related GHG emissions in the transportation sector can be reduced with increases in transportation efficiency; this efficiency is achieved by increasing mobility while reducing the energy expended for mobility. Transportation efficiency initiatives include supporting alternatives to single occupancy vehicle travel (carpooling, public transit, walking, biking, telecommuting), mode switching for freight (truck to rail, etc.), improvements to transportation system efficiency (relieving congestion, linking transportation routes and hubs, interactive transit scheduling, etc.), and Smart Growth land use policies/programs. Smart Growth leads to increased density with mixed use neighborhoods, including infrastructure, making public transit, walking, and biking more convenient and safe.
To implement the 2011 CEP transportation recommendations, the PSD worked collaboratively with other state agencies and external stakeholders, including:
- Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) - Policy, Planning & Research Division and VTrans Public Transit
- Buildings and General Services (BGS) Energy Office
- Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) Department of Housing
- Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) Air Quality and Climate Division
- Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, & Markets
External Organizations and Initiatives
- Drive Electric Vermont (DEV). In 2012 the PSD, VTrans, ANR, and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) signed an agreement to create the DEV partnership. DEV is an active statewide coalition of policy-makers, industry leaders, and citizens dedicated to promoting the spread of electric transportation in Vermont.
- University of Vermont Transportation Research Center’s Vermont Clean Cities Coalition
- VEIC’s Transportation Efficiency team is the lead partner of DEV
- Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) Bioenergy Initiative
Transportation Stakeholder Contacts
- Auto dealers and fleet managers can contact VEIC and VTCCC.
- Bioenergy producers can contact VAAFM and VSJF.
- Municipalities can contact ACCD and VEIC.
- Consumers can contact VEIC and Go! Vermont.
- Fuel dealers can contact PSD.
- Policy-makers can contact ANR, PSD, and VTrans.
- Transit providers can contact VTrans Public Transit.
- Utilities can contact PSD and VEIC.
- Vermont Transportation Energy Profile. This is a biennial publication last published in August 2013 by VTrans with assistance from the University of Vermont Transportation Research Center. It measures and evaluates progress in meeting the 2011 CEP transportation goals.
- Vermont Fuel Price Report. Monthly publication which surveys prices from Vermont heating fuel dealers and retail gas stations as well as national fuel supplies and prices.