Vermont Governor Backs Renewable Energy

Governor Jim Douglas spent last Friday visiting renewable energy projects that have received financial incentives from the renewable energy bill he helped usher through the Legislature and signed in 2003. He visited solar, wind and hybrid systems in South Burlington, Hinesburg, Montpelier, Randolph, and Hartland. Nearly US$1 million has been committed to almost 200 individual renewable energy projects in the last two years.

Montpelier, Vermont – September 28, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “Renewable energy can provide a greater degree of energy independence and help assure a locally produced and reliable energy supply,” Douglas said. “There can also be greater stability of energy prices for individuals and businesses alike with an approach that works to grow the renewable market through incentives. I will continue to promote development and use of renewable energy by facilitating collaborations and market-based incentives that encourage employers and residents to install these alternatives.” To encourage individual homes and businesses to take advantage of renewable sources, Governor Douglas noted that the renewable energy bill he signed enabled the Public Service Board to create renewable “green” pricing programs. Green pricing is an optional service offered by electric companies to customers who may choose to purchase their electricity from renewable resources, thus increasing a company’s reliance on renewable energy and the market demand for renewable products. The renewable energy bill also appropriated more than $600,000 for incentive payments to promote the installation of renewable energy systems in homes or businesses like the ones the Governor visited. Earlier this year, Douglas announced a quarter-million dollars more for renewable energy incentives for this same program, these funds were made available through an insurance settlement related to the sale of Vermont Yankee several years ago. “As I said 21 months ago in my inaugural address, the choice we face today is not a choice between jobs and the environment. It is a choice between both or neither,” Douglas said. “So I have sought out a Third Way – the Vermont Way – to accomplish our environmental goals while improving the economy – an economy we in turn depend on to provide the resources we need for environmental protection. The efforts we’ve taken-and those to come-prove that the Vermont Way is the right way.”
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