Burlington officials say city is on track to meet net zero energy goals


BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Burlington Electric Department and Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the city is well on track to reach its net zero energy goals by 2030.

Weinberger also announced a new set of initiatives for 2021, including energy policy changes, building an expanded bike lane network, and continuing the Burlington Electric Department’s Green Stimulus Program.

“Burlington’s Net Zero Energy roadmap is both one of the most ambitious local climate plans anywhere in our country and a feasible, optimistic vision for bringing the climate emergency to an end,” Weinberger said. “It’s exciting to learn that Burlington is on track to meet our goal. Through very tangible actions by our Burlington community, we have been able to achieve great progress, and I thank our engaged citizens for their focus and efforts. We must continue to take such bold steps to help us lock in additional emissions reductions and continue our progress toward Net Zero Energy.”

The city was able to reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 and 2020, but there is some concern that once the economy fully re-opens, some progress could be lost.

“Less driving has equaled a significant emissions reduction,” said Darren Springer, General Manager of the Burlington Electric Department. “We know there are technologies in use now that weren’t in use before the pandemic that may allow some of us to drive less even after the pandemic, and I think coming out of this, that’s something we hope people consider. Can we utilize some of those technologies to continue down this road?”

In the coming weeks, Weinberger will be working with the Burlington City Council to implement new weatherization standards for all Burlington apartments, as well as requiring new buildings to use renewable heating.

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