Energy and Senate bill 54

Today, April 23, on “Relocalizing Vermont” on WGDR 91.1 FM, Carl Eitner of “Relocalizing Vermont Productions” will be exploring a potential new way for municipalities to help their residents and businesses obtain more favorable financing (lower interest rates, longer-term loans) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. I’ll play an interview with bill sponsor Ginny Lyons, chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, and talk with James Moore of VPIRG and Johanna Miller of VNRC.The call-in discussion will run approximately 9:30 – 9:58 am on WGDR 91.1 FM. If you don’t have a radio where you are then, you can stream the show at

The bill has just passed the senate, and there’s some uncertainty about whether it will pass the House in time to be enacted this year. Since towns and cities will need some time to act on this authorizing legislation, if the bill isn’t passed until next year, there’s a good chance no one will take advantage of it until July 2011.

Here’s a summary of the bill; If you have any questions, please call and ask our guests Thursday between 9:30 and 9:55 am. The studio number is 454-7762.S.54.

“Clean Energy Assessment Districts Act” will: enable Vermont municipalities to use their bonding power or other financial mechanisms to help interested Vermont property owners make more significant efficiency and renewable energy improvements on their homes and businesses. Property owners would be able to make investments now, and pay them back with the energy savings over 10-20 years through an assessment on their local tax bill.