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The Green Valley Way

My contractors were happy to get the work.This is how an All Fuels Efficiency Utility could work.

But it should not require a new tax; government can provide the charter and oversight, but lets let the market provide the capital for the investments.

I will support the creation of an All Fuels Efficiency Utility with the following conditions: 1. The Public Service Board maintains oversight of the utility and puts it out for competitive bid every 5 years, to ensure competitive pricing and innovative ideas.

2. The customer repays the utility for the cost of improvements plus interest. Structured properly, these payments could come from money saved on fuel. Loan payments would recycle through the utility to finance the next project. Seed money from the Clean Energy Fund could finance the utilitys start-up. Funds generated by interest would make it self-sustaining. In fact, as markets see financial value, the All Fuels Efficiency Utility should be able to raise funds from investors.

3. As a goal, no less than 90 percent of the utilitys funds would be dedicated to direct investment in fuel savings, keeping overhead at 10 percent or less.

4. Individuals or companies, like IBM Essex Junction, who already use best practices in efficiency, could qualify for tax credits by mentoring other individuals or companies.

5. The utility would be accountable for performance to measurable objectives, and would operate with clear and transparent financial reporting.

As Amory Lovins said when he spoke in Montpelier earlier this year, Saving energy is cheaper than buying it. Thats why, he said, companies like IBM, DuPont, British Petroleum and Texas Instruments are leaders in efficiency investment and know-how. Efficiency saves money. Thats why my brother and I installed an upgraded boiler in our sugarhouse and burn one third the fuel we used to burn. It saves money. The investment you make in energy efficiency should leave you with more money, not less.

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