Vermont seeks to jump to head of pack on renewable energy with focus on heating, transit

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MONTPELIER, Vermont — Newly filed legislation in Vermont would push utilities to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency programs beyond electricity and into home heating.

It would give them credit toward required energy goals for projects like weatherization, biomass heat and cold-climate heat pumps.

The bill mirrors proposals laid out by Gov. Peter Shumlin in his State of the State address two weeks ago.

It would get rid of a system in which utilities have been taking credit for renewable energy projects in-state, at the same time they are selling renewable energy credits to out-of-state power companies to satisfy their own state requirements. That practice has been coming under increasing criticism.

It would set new and tougher goals for utilities to use renewable energy.

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