Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) adopted a Regional Energy Plan in 2017. This regional plan supports the implementation of the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan and the pursuit of Vermont’s energy and carbon-related goals. NRPC has a standing Regional Energy Committee composed of Regional Commissioners. The Committee works on projects related to implementing the Regional Energy Plan. NRPC is also involved in the review of proposed renewable electricity energy facilities as an automatic party to all Section 248 proceedings in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.
NRPC is committed to working with municipalities that pursue local energy planning-related work. This includes development of municipal enhanced energy plans, development of solar screening ordinances, supporting local energy committees, or any other type of energy-related project. For more information on energy planning, please contact Linda Blasch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regional Energy Plan
Municipal Enhanced Energy Plans
A municipal enhanced energy plan is an optional addition to a municipal plan that municipalities are authorized to adopt under 24 V.S.A. §4352. The purpose of a municipal enhanced energy plan is to implement the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan at the municipal level.
Plans typically include an analysis of current energy use & generation, maps of the best locations for future energy generation, and recommended actions the municipality can take to support the state’s energy goals.
Adopting an enhanced energy plan increases a municipality’s “say” in Section 248 proceedings. If a municipality has adopted an enhanced energy plan, the municipal plan will be given “substantial deference” in the proceedings.
Municipal Energy Committees
Municipal energy committees are groups of passionate local volunteers who work to implement a wide-range of energy projects in their town. Most local energy committees act as an advisory committee to the governing body of the municipality (such as the Selectboard, City Council or Village Trustees).
There are a number of benefits to having a municipal energy committee.
Save Taxpayer Money: Energy committees can work on projects to increase energy efficiency in municipal buildings, saving money for their municipality.
Increased Access to Energy Efficiency Resources: A local energy committee can make sure their community gets the full benefit of existing energy efficiency resources, like Efficiency Vermont’s free home energy audits.
Become a Leader in Energy Efficiency: Municipalities with local energy committees have greater gains in energy efficiency, making them leaders in meeting Vermont’s energy goals.