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Mayor Announces Revenue Bond Proposal To Accelerate Burlington’s Net Zero Energy Goal

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger
Pat Bradley
/
WAMC
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger announces proposed Net Zero Energy Revenue Bond

Burlington, Vermont’s mayor and officials from the city’s electric utility have announced a new effort to accelerate progress toward a net zero energy goal.

In 2019, the city of Burlington launched a so-called Net Zero Energy Roadmap to eliminate the city’s use of all fossil fuels by 2030. Several incentive programs have been implemented since. On Wednesday, Mayor Miro Weinberger was at the Burlington Electric Department to announce a new proposal he described as a major step in accelerating the goal.

“The administration with the full backing of Burlington’s Electric Commission will be asking the City Council at their next meeting on September 13th to approve a $20 million Net Zero Energy Revenue Bond and to put that revenue bond in front of voters at a, for a special election on November 9th.”

Mayor Weinberger says if the bond is approved it would do two significant things to accelerate the city’s move toward net zero.

“First of all It creates a pathway for us to continue to offer very significant green stimulus incentives. The approval of this bond it basically puts on track through this one strategy alone to accomplish 25 percent of the remaining work we need to do to become a Net Zero city by 2030," Weinberger said. "The second big thing that this bond does is it gives us the ability to create and maintain the grid and the electric infrastructure that we need to actually be a Net Zero Energy city.”

Burlington Electric General Manager Darren Springer outlined how some of the $20 million bond would be used.

“What the Net Zero Energy Revenue Bond proposal does is make a $20 million investment over a roughly three year period. About 12.3 million of that investment would be going into the grid, to the distribution system, both supporting reliability and adding capacity for new load growth. Roughly 2.2 million of the investment would go into our renewable energy generation plants," Springer said. "We would have a little under 4 million invested in our technology systems. And roughly the remainder, around 1.5 million, we’re going to be investing in Net Zero Energy capital projects.”

The Net Zero Energy Revenue Bond proposal unanimously passed the Burlington Electric Commission. It now moves to the Burlington City Council to consider whether to place it on the November general election ballot for voter approval.

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