Increased Energy Efficiency Budget Needed Now: Savings Would Protect Against Volatile Energy Prices

Brian Barth

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Colin Durrant, CLF Director of Communications
617.850.1722

Montpelier, VT (June 9, 2008) – The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) called for a significant increase in the Energy Efficiency budget for Vermont beginning in 2009. In a recommendation filed with the Public Service Board, the groups say the increase will save Vermonters money and protect against volatile energy prices in the future.

“Energy efficiency continues to be the cleanest and lowest cost resource Vermont can invest in,” said Sandra Levine, Senior Attorney at the CLF’s Vermont Advocacy Center. “Increasing energy efficiency now is like securing a power contract for over five percent of Vermont’s electricity at less than half the current market rate.”

CLF and VPIRG recommend ramping up energy efficiency at a pace similar to the recent investments, increasing the current $30.75 million investment to $52.5 million in 2009. As Vermont has invested more in energy efficiency in recent years, the cost per kilowatt hour has gone done.

Immediate investments are critical given the looking specter of climate change and near-term power supply pressures.

In addition, investing in efficiency now will help protect the state against an uncertain energy market later. Vermont’s contract with Hydro-Quebec will expire in the near future and the extension of Vermont Yankee’s license remains uncertain. The likely increase in future electricity costs makes energy efficiency investments now essential.

“Given the volatility and uncertainty in the energy markets Vermont needs to move quickly to increase efficiency investments,” said VPIRG’s James Moore. “These investments are sound both economically and environmentally.”

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The Conservation Law Foundation ( www.clf.org) works to solve the most significant environmental challenges facing New England. CLF’s advocates use law, economics and science to create innovative strategies that conserve natural resources, protect public health and promote vibrant communities in our region. Founded, in 1966, CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization with offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

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