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Lawmakers pass bill that will make major changes to state's utilities: 'We need to get to work'

"We look forward to building on this important first step."

"We look forward to building on this important first step."

Photo Credit: iStock

Vermont is leading the charge toward a cleaner, greener future by passing a groundbreaking bill that mandates 100% renewable electricity across the state by 2035.

This exciting development is "expected to become law," with the legislation receiving overwhelming support in both the State House and Senate, according to Electrek.

The bill, known as H.289, or "An act relating to the Renewable Energy Standard," is a game-changer for Vermont's energy landscape. It calls for doubling the amount of in-state renewable energy production from 10% to 20%, focusing on small and medium-sized projects. 

This means more solar panels on rooftops, community solar farms, and wind turbines dotting the picturesque Vermont countryside.

But the ambition doesn't stop there. H.289 also requires Vermont utilities to provide their customers with additional renewable energy from anywhere in the region, potentially including offshore wind. Green Mountain Power, which serves around 80% of the state's customers, must provide an additional 20% by 2035, while other utilities have a target of an additional 10%, all according to Electrek.

The impact of this legislation on Vermonters' lives cannot be overstated. Not only will it help reduce reliance on dirty fuels and lower energy bills, but it will also create new jobs in the renewable energy sector.

By embracing clean energy, Vermont is investing in the health and well-being of its communities, ensuring a brighter future for generations to come.

Vanessa Rule, co-director and lead organizer of 350VT, emphasized the importance of this step.

"Now we need to get to work meeting the new goals with a strong community solar program, well-sited projects that protect farmland and ecosystems, and ensure this electricity is affordable and available for everyone," she told the Sierra Club, as Electrek reported. "We look forward to building on this important first step and thank the legislature for its hard work."

Vermont's commitment to renewable energy is part of a larger movement, with the state being one of currently 24 in the U.S. Climate Alliance pledged to upholding the Paris Agreement.

By taking bold action now, Vermont is setting an example for the rest of the nation and showing that a cleaner, more sustainable future is within reach.

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