Update on Burlington’s Net Zero Energy City Progress

I want to update you on several new programs and rebates being launched by the Burlington Electric Department (BED) and invite you to two Town Hall Meetings to discuss how you can:
Take direct action to fight climate change, and
Lower your household or business’s dependence on fossil fuels amidst a potentially lengthy period in which fuel and gas prices are high and unstable.
Burlington has been making significant progress towards our Net Zero Energy City goals and is well-positioned for an acceleration of this progress, thanks in big part to voters’ overwhelming support of the historic Net Zero Energy Revenue Bond passed in December 2021. We’ve been aggressively pursuing local electrification efforts for years, and electrification finally is gaining broader national attention as one of the most effective strategies to address the climate emergency.

Save at the “Pump”
Last week gas prices hit $4 per gallon for the first time in years. At BED charging stations, EV drivers pay the equivalent of $1.46 per gallon. BED customers who recharge at home during off-peak hours pay the equivalent of $0.60 per gallon of gasoline.

Rebates for Burlington Electric Customers
BED has a lot of tools and incentives to help you transition your vehicle, home or business to BED’s all-renewable energy. This transition – often called Strategic Electrification – is a key component of achieving our Net Zero Energy City goal, and rebates from BED have already helped hundreds of commercial and residential customers to electrify their vehicles and buildings.
These rebates have expanded thanks to voters’ support of the Net Zero Energy Revenue Bond, creating more opportunities for customers to minimize their carbon footprint and save money. BED customers can seek rebates for electric vehicles, heat pumps, induction cookstoves, electric leaf blowers and lawn mowers, electric bikes, and even electric motorcycles. 
Learn more about available rebates

Since Green Stimulus rebates were launched in 2020, residential cold climate heat pump installations have increased more than 14-fold – check out the graph below to see the exciting trend. This is just one of the many ways Burlingtonians and businesses are stepping up to lower their emissions.

Town Hall Series
To broaden the local conversation about how important electrification is to addressing the climate emergency, the City is hosting two Net Zero Energy and Electrification Town Hall meetings in the coming weeks.
First, join me and Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Rewiring America, Saul Griffith, Ph.D. for a Town Hall Meeting at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 30, to discuss the road to become a Net Zero Energy City – electrify everything! Griffith is a MacArthur Genius Grant winner and co-founder of Rewiring America, a growing nonprofit, working to launch a movement that electrifies everything, starting with our 121 million households.

Through accurate, accessible, and actionable data and storytelling tools that power smart, inclusive advocacy and market-transforming partnerships, Rewiring America aims to achieve national emissions goals, improve our health, lower monthly bills, and create millions of clean energy jobs.

Register for the Town Hall
Next, you can join me on Wednesday, April 6 at 5:00 pm for an event with MIT Sloan School of Management Professor John Sterman, Ph.D for a demonstration of the En ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator Tool. I recently participated in one of Sterman’s workshops as part of a mayors conference, and found it to be one of the most memorable, impactful, and actionable conversations about addressing climate change that I have ever experienced. I am excited for more Burlingtonians to be able to share in this interactive learning experience.

Register for the Town Hall
Through strategic electrification, we’ll keep more energy dollars in the local economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and minimize our dependency on fossil fuels for heating, transportation, and other electricity needs.

I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming town hall event!

Miro Weinberger