The subject of this article was just a few paragraphs in a prior article. However, the Vermont House passed the Global Warming “Solutions” Act bill, GWSA, and sent it to the Vermont Senate, which also passed it. The bill, if enacted, would convert the aspirational goals of the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, into mandated goals, with penalties. GWSA has been called “must pass this Session”.


Vermont Business Climate


Vermont has a very poor climate for traditional, private enterprise job creation. Forbes, et al., rate Vermont near the bottom. There are too many onerous taxes, fees and surcharges, and rules and regulations, that have caused businesses to not grow in Vermont, to leave Vermont, or not even come to Vermont.


Vermont’s population is stagnant. Ambitious, younger people leave, older, more-needy people stay. Well-paying, steady jobs, with decent benefits, are hard to come by in Vermont. 


GWSA to Subsidize Job Creation in RE Sectors


GWSA would require major increases in the current levels of various subsidies to all sorts of RE businesses for decades; an expensive way “to create jobs”. GWSA would be a poor substitute for traditional, private enterprise job creation, which has proven so difficult in Vermont.


Annual spending on RE would have to increase from the current $210 million/y (includes EFFICIENCY VERMONT) to about $1.0 BILLION PER YEAR, to implement the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan.


If the RE subsidies were “freebie” federal subsidies, they would subsidize and grow RE businesses, and create jobs.

However, federal subsidies increase and decrease, and come and go.


If the subsidies were “state” subsidies, such as for heat pumps and electric vehicles, they would have to be extracted from Vermonters and tourists, which would create jobs in the RE sectors, but would destroy jobs in almost all other sectors. That would further worsen the near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy, and prolong the adverse employment conditions of the “Virus economy”.


Brief Summary of GWSA


The Agency of Natural Resources, ANR, led by Peter Walke (who is a member of EAN), has to create the rules and regulations, and penalties for non-compliance, which would be subject for review by a “Council of Wise Men”, i.e., mostly RE proponents.


As part of GWSA, if the ANR measures do not sufficiently reduce Vermont’s carbon dioxide, CO2, any Tom, Dick and Henry would be allowed to sue the state government, with lawyer’s fees reimbursed, if the suit is upheld in Court.


As part of GWSA, the legislature would play no role other than vote to provide the money, extracted from more and more impoverished, already-struggling, Virus-unemployed Vermonters, to implement it all.


I foresee one litigious brouhaha after another; Vermonters becoming more and more oppressed and impoverished in the pursuit of impossible climate goals and Vermont becoming less and less attractive as a place to live. GWSA would be decades of torture of Vermonters to achieve nothing.


John McClaughry Commentary on GWSA


The GWSA bill would set up a “climate government” within the government, to direct state regulators to do whatever is necessary to achieve the emissions reductions needed to save the Planet from heat death, as if what Vermont does would make even the slightest bit of difference. See Note.


This counterfeit “climate government” would be chaired by the Secretary of Administration, but the Dem/Prog leaders of the House and Senate would appoint twice as many members as the Governor to make sure the Governor would always be outvoted.


Not only that, the Dem/Prog leaders thoughtfully provided a majority of their Climate Council’s membership may call meetings, if the Governor’s appointed chairman would not do it. 


And to top it off, the Council would invite the Conservation Law Foundation to sue the Governor’s cabinet officers whenever it believes the state government would not be moving fast enough to further wreck the already-weak, near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy, in the name of stamping out global warming.


The GWSA bill is purposely designed to lock up Phil Scott in a closet. He needs to stand up on his hind legs and tell the Senate he is ready with a veto.


NOTE: This URL, first table, shows Vermont is completely invisible.


Capital Costs to Implement CEP


In 2015, Energy Action Network, EAN, an umbrella organization for RE businesses, etc., had estimated it would take at least $1.0 BILLION per year for 35 years to implement the CEP by 2050, not counting financing costs and replacement costs during these 35 years.


The near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy, with a stagnant population getting older, currently spends about $210 million per year, with difficulty.


Self-Serving, Impossible CO2 Reduction Dreams of EAN


“Meeting Paris”: In 2019, EAN made estimates of what it would take to “meet Paris”, i.e., reduce CO2 from 9.76 million metric ton, at end 2016, to 7.46 MMt, at end 2025, or 2.281 MMt.


About 0.405 MMt from 90,000 electric vehicles, EVs

About 0.370 MMt from 90,000 air source heat pumps, ASHPs. See Note and pages 3, 4 and 5 of URL


All of Europe (550 million people, excl. Russia) is not “meeting Paris”, and neither are China (1.4 billion people), India (1.4 billion people), etc.


There were 3541 plug-in vehicles and 17,717 ASHPs, at end 2019, i.e., the EAN goals would be unattainable, even if the 50% of the cost of vehicles and heat pumps were donated by ratepayers, taxpayers, and added to government debt. 

See URL and below ASHP and EV sections.



- The membership of EAN includes ten prominent members of Vermont Department of Public Service, VT-DPS: June Tierney, Riley Allen, Ed McNamara, TJ Poore, Anne Margolis, Andrew Perchlik, Maria Fischer, Phillip Picotte, Ed Delhagen, Kelly Launder.

- June Tierney is the Commissioner.

- Andrew Perchlik is on loan to the Legislature to shepherd the GWSA and $1.2 billion “Fortress Vermont” bills to ensure they contain all the bennies for EAN members.

- Perchlik manages the Clean Energy Development Fund that donates taxpayer money to renewable energy programs.

- No wonder VT-DPS resorts to artificial/political CO2 calculations regarding Vermont’s electrical sector, and EV and ASHP programs.


Self-Serving, Impossible CO2 Reduction Dreams of VEIC


In 2016, VEIC published a 4-volume, Solar Pathways report, at a cost of about $740,365, paid for by the US Department of Energy


In 2020, VEIC published an update of the Solar Pathways report, at a cost of about $50,000, courtesy of private donors; currently, only Volume I is available.


VEIC claims Vermont could reach the CEP goal of 20% electricity use from solar by 2025, if solar capacity would increase by about 19%/y, from 364.24 MW ac, or 438.84 dc, at end 2019, to about 1000 MW dc, at end 2025, 6 years.


EAN and VEIC claim widespread adoption of EVs and ASHPs would significantly reduce Vermont's CO2. However, those claims appear to be extremely dubious with:


1) The Federal EV tax credit having been cancelled

2) The solar Investment Tax Credit expiring in 2022

3) The multi-year recession and high unemployment due to the Corona virus.

4) ASHPs Marginally Effective for Reducing CO2 in Average Vermont Houses 

5) EVs Minimally Reducing CO2 Compared with Efficient Gasoline Vehicles


Further increasing taxes, fees and surcharges on ratepayers, taxpayers, and adding to government debt likely would not be a palatable option. See table 1


Table 1/ Federal ITC




2022, etc.
















A House Bill to Increase Solar from 8.6% at end 2019 to 20% at end 2032


This Bill mandates utilities buy 20% of their electricity supply, about 1.2 BILLION kWh/y, at present, from in-state RE sources, which effectively means solar.


The Bill appears simple to pro-RE lay people, and some legislators eager to please Vermont solar businesses, but is far from it, according to energy systems analysts at VT-DPS.


Vermont had installed 364.24 MW ac, or 438.84 MW dc, at end 2019, per ISO-NE/VT-DPS

That would need to increase to 20/8.6 x 438.84 = 1021 MW dc, at end 2032. See Note.

The capital cost would be about (1021 – 438.84) x $3 million/MW = $1.747 BILLION, or $134 million/y for 13 years, excluding grid expansion/reinforcement, and storage to deal with midday DUCK-curves


NOTE: VEIC, not to be outdone, sees no problem with 20% solar by 2025. Its report does not mention capital costs for storage.


Some proponents likely do not realize, Vermont (and New England) often has 5 to 7-day wind/solar lulls (extended overcast periods with rain or snow, and little or no wind), i.e., the wind/solar output that could have been expected, for that time of year, is, in fact, less than 15% of expectations. Where would the shortfall come from? Traditional generators?


Vermont Electric Power Company, VELCO, estimates the grid would need $900 million of battery and other storage systems.

GMP stated that would increase rates by 6 to 12%; that would be on top of regular rate increases. Not so good for EVs and heat pumps.


McNamara, Planning Director at VT-DPS, claims a study is required to determine solar’s physical and rate impacts. He stated:


- Previous net-metered rates were too high/installation rates were unsustainable; a reduction in rates was overdue.

- Electric rates must be kept low to encourage people to use EVs and heat pumps.

- Massive storage to deploy “solar for solar’s sake” would be unwise and unnecessary

- Vermont’s grid need to be connected to nearby grids (Canada and New York) for maximum resiliency.

- Focusing on new in-state generation, regardless of costs, is “isolationist”, which would lead to less resiliency


It looks like the Bill will be significantly revised to give utilities a lot more flexibility.






Wind and Solar Conditions in New England are Mediocre 

New England has highly variable weather and low-medium quality wind and solar conditions. See NREL wind map and NREL solar map.



- Wind electricity is zero about 30% of the hours of the year (it takes a wind speed of about 7 mph to start the rotors)

- Wind is minimal most early mornings and most late afternoons/early evenings (peak demand hours), especially during summer

- Wind often is minimal 5 - 7 days in a row in summer and winter, as proven by ISO-NE real-time generation data.

- About 60% is generated at night, when demand is much less than during the late afternoons/early evenings

- About 60% is generated in winter.

- During winter, the best wind month is up to 2.5 times the worst summer month

- New England has the lowest capacity factor (about 0.262) of any US region, except the US South. See URL.



- Solar electricity is strictly a midday affair.

- It is zero about 65% of the hours of the year, mostly at night.

- It often is minimal 5 - 7 days in a row in summer and in winter, as proven by ISO-NE real-time generation data.

- It is minimal early mornings and late afternoons/early evenings

- It is minimal much of the winter months

- It is minimal for several days with snow and ice on most of the panels.

- It varies with variable cloudiness, which would excessively disturb distribution grids with many solar systems, as happens in southern California and southern Germany on a daily basis. Utilities use batteries to stabilize their grids.

- During summer, the best solar month is up to 4 times the worst winter month; that ratio is 6 in Germany.

- New England has the lowest capacity factor (about 0.145, under ideal conditions) of any region in the US, except some parts of the US Northwest.


NOTE: Even if the NE grid had large capacity connections with Canada and New York, any major NE wind lull and any major NE snowfall likely would affect the entire US northeast, i.e., relying on neighboring grids to "help-out" likely would not be prudent strategy.


Wind Plus Solar: 

ISO-NE publishes the minute-by-minute outputs off various energy sources contributing their electricity to the grid.

All one has to do is add the wind and solar and one comes rapidly to the conclusion both are minimal many hours of the year, at any time during the year.


Wind plus solar production could be minimal for 5 - 7 days in summer and in winter, especially with snow and ice on most of the panels, as frequently happens during December, January and February, as proven by ISO-NE real-time generation data.


If we were to rely on wind and solar for most of our electricity, massive energy storage systems (a few hundred GWh-scale for Vermont, multiple TWh-scale for NE) would be required to cover multi-day wind lulls, multi-day overcast/snowy periods, and seasonal variations. See URLs.


Wind and solar cannot ever be expected to charge New England’s EVs, so people can get to work the next day, unless backed up by several TWh of storage, because wind/solar lulls can occur for 5 - 7 days in a row, in summer and in winter. BTW, the turnkey capital cost of one TWH of storage (delivered as AC to the grid) is about $400 billion.


Shortcomings of Wind and Solar


Variable and intermittent wind and solar electricity cannot exist on any electric grid without the traditional, dispatchable generators performing the peaking, filling-in and balancing. Battery systems could be used, but the battery system turnkey capital cost would be about $400/kWh, based on AC electricity delivered to the high voltage grid. See Note.



Highly Sealed, Highly Insulated House

In 2008, Transformations Inc., Townsend, MA, was chosen among six builders to participate in the state’s investor-owned utilities Zero Energy Challenge, a competition to encourage builders to plan and develop a home with a HERS Index below 35 before December 2009.


Carter Scott, President of Transformations, Inc. brought together a team of design and energy experts to not only meet the challenge, but to figure out how to get all the way to zero, while still building an affordable, new house. The team designed a three-bedroom 1,232-sq ft house, called the “Needham," which has a “- 4” HERS rating, i.e., the house produces more energy than it is using. Sales price: $195,200 in 2009


Major Design Features:


Roof (R75): 5 inches of high-density polyurethane foam, HDF, and 13 inches of high-density cellulose all along the slope of the second-floor roof rafters; 2 x 12s and a 2 x 4s held off by 3 inches for a thermal break separation 
Walls (R49): 2 x 4 outside wall; added a second 2 x 4 wall for a total depth of 12 inches; filled 3 inches with HDF and 9 inches with cellulose 
Basement Ceiling: 3 inches of HDF and a layer of R-30 fiberglass batts 
Windows: Paradigm triple-pane model with Low-E and krypton gas 
Heating/Cooling: Two Mitsubishi Mr. Slim mini-split, ductless, ASHPs

Ventilation: Lifebreath 155 ECM Energy Recovery Ventilator 

Leakage: About 175 cfm at 50 pascal, per blower door test (or 284 cfm for a 2000 sq ft house. See table 8)
Solar: Evergreen Solar’s 30 Spruce Line 190-watt PV panels to create a 6.4-kW system;

Hot Water: SunDrum Solar’s DHW heating system

Heat Loss: About 10,500 Btu/h, at 70F indoor, 6F outdoor (or 2000/1232 x 75 delta T/64 delta T x 10500 = 19,975 Btu/h for a 2000 sq ft house, at 65F indoor and -10F outdoor, in Vermont)



Standard Weatherizing of Housing not Sufficient for ASHPs


In 2017, about 2012 housing units were weatherized, for about $20 million, about $10,000/unit.

CO2 reduction about 6 million lb/y, or 2716 Mt/y.


Assuming the older houses would last another 30 years, the CO2 reduction cost would be $19.75 million/(2716 Mt/y x 30y) = $242/Mt, which is high. See URL, page 30


Because these units had an average fuel use reduction of 23%, does not mean they are out of energy-hog territory, i.e., they likely would still not be sufficiently energy-efficient for 100% space heating with ASHPs.


The rate of weatherizing is far too slow, and not "deep" enough, for the CEP 63% goal of space heating of all buildings using only ASHPs. See table 3


A new approach, hopefully not involving government and Efficiency Vermont, is needed.


1) Entire neighborhoods, with old houses, would need to be leveled for replacement with modern Passivhaus buildings.

2) A new statewide, enforced, building code is required. See URL.


Table 3/Weatherized housing units


Average fuel use reduction, %


Cost, subsidies, $


Cost, owners, $


Total cost, $


Cost/unit, $



CO2 reduction, lb


CO2 reduction, Mt/y


CO2 reduction, $/Mt, based on 30-y life




Table 4 shows space heat energy sources of Vermont houses, per CEP.


The CEP goal of 63% of buildings having ASHPs for space heat and DHW could be achieved, if buildings were highly sealed and highly insulated. Such buildings would have very low energy use that could be economically provided 100% by ASHPs, even with the cost of amortizing the ASHPs over 15 years.


An average Vermont free-standing house is nowhere near where it needs to be regarding economic heating 100% with ASHPs, even after standardized weatherizing.


An average Vermont free-standing house, with an ASHP, would displace only 27.6% of the traditional fuel, per CADMUS report. Standardized weatherizing might increase that percentage to about 35%.

See table 5, and example of energy-efficient house in Appendix.


Table 4/Housing units


Future, per CEP








Primary fuel for space heat





No. 2 fuel oil, propane or natural gas 

Primary fuel for space heat






Primary energy for space heat










About 88,000 of Vermont's 100,000 free-standing houses, and about 59,000 of Vermont’s 66,950 apartments, condos, etc., are economically unsuitable for 100% space heat from ASHPs.


Only well-sealed/well-insulated, highly sealed/highly insulated and Passivhaus-style houses are economically suitable for 100% space heat from ASHPs


Table 5/Vermont



Htg. Demand

Pk. Demand *


Air Leak


Unsuitable for ASHPs




Btu/h at -10F 



@ -50 pascal

Typical older house

1750 - 1990








Newer house

1990 - 2000








Newer house

2000 - 2012








Suitable for ASHPs

WS/WI house * 

2012 - 2021








HS/HI house * 

2000 - present









1985 - present










- WS/WI = well-sealed/well-insulated

- HS/Hi = highly sealed/highly insulated

- Winter 99% design temperature: The outdoor air where you live will be colder than this temperature for 1% of the hours of a year (88 h), based on a 30-year average; that temperature is -10F in Vermont. See URL, page 112

- These leakage rates would be significantly less at lesser pressures. A whole-house ventilation system with heat-recovery ventilator, HRV, would be required.



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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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