The Fuel Line

News for Vermont's Oilheat and Propane Industry

S.5, the so-called “Affordable Heat Act” is now law. While Vermont Governor Phil Scott vetoed the legislation, it was overridden in the House by a vote of 107-42 and in the state Senate by a vote of 20-10.

Sometimes called a Clean Heat Standard, the policy is intended to get Vermonters to use less fossil fuel for heat, hot water and cooking. If fully implemented in two years, Vermont’s fuel sellers will have to sell less heating fuel or else pay someone else to get Vermonters to use less. The Vermont Public Utility Commission will now be tasked with registering every fuel dealer and collecting data on every gallon that is purchased and sold. They will also create something called a “clean heat credit marketplace.” A credit will be awarded to a heating fuel or service company when something is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the thermal sector. Nearly ever fuel dealer in Vermont will need them, but it isn’t known how many they'll need and how much they’ll cost. While the best guess is 70-cents a gallon, it could be twice as much.

While the work designing this policy begins immediately, no payment is required by fuel dealers until the legislature gives final approval to the policy in 2025. The state of Vermont will now spend two years and nearly $2 million designing this credit marketplace. Renewable liquid, solid, and gaseous fuels may be able to earn credits under this system. A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will be directed by the Public Utility Commission to conduct a lifecycle analysis on any energy product, appliance or service that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This will not happen in vacuum. Those that sell something that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions will need to make the case in Montpelier in order to receive credit under this policy.  For more information contact VFDA.

Click here to watch an overview of the Vermont Clean Heat Standard and here to listen to a radio interview describing how it would work.