Green Mountain Power to take supporting role in upcoming climate strike

Editor’s note: This article was updated 11:21 a.m. Sept. 12.

Green Mountain Power is showing its support for the political Global Climate Strike by increasing green energy rebates and partnering with Vermont customers and communities to reduce carbon emissions.

According to a company press release, the energy utility will work with the communities where its 15 district offices are located to advance projects that “support their local carbon-cutting actions.”

Green Mountain Power

GETTING POLITICAL: Power utility Green Mountain Power says it is doing it’s part to support an upcoming Global Climate Strike that reportedly is expected to involve mass disruptions to the lives of Vermont residents and residents of other states.

Kristin Kelly, spokeperson for GMP, told True North the activities are mostly collaborative.

“GMP is really just partnering with the communities that we serve,” she said. “We have 15 district offices around the state where line-crews are stationed and we are all gonna be partnering with those communities to support carbon reduction efforts that those communities may have.”

Mary Powell, president of Green Mountain Power, said the effort will demonstrate that Vermonters can do something to affect global climate patterns.

“All working together we can make a difference in the fight against climate change, while also offering programs that drive down costs for all customers,” she said. “GMP is proud to partner with communities to assist them with projects to reduce emissions.”

Powell said youth activism on global warming politics was an inspiration to the power company.

“The students who have led the Global Climate Strike this past year are so inspiring and we’re proud to do our part to support their message and give back here in Vermont, while maintaining great service for all of our customers,” she said.

RELATED: McClaughry: Get ready for ‘Climate Strike’ disruption

According to Kelly, Green Mountain Power has not heard complaints about the company’s climate activism and emphasis on subsidized green energy.

“I have not heard that, and again our participation in the climate week is supporting local community efforts,” she said.

Vermont has Renewable Energy Standards that mandate a switch to green power in electricity production, transportation, and heating. Kelly said that’s part of the overall push for climate action, but she added it is also about GMP encouraging customers to go green.

“We also encourage customers to reduce their own carbon footprints if they choose, and all of our programs that we have are designed around that,” she said.

Bill Powell, director of products and services for Washington Electric Co-op in East Montpelier, said that these green financial incentives are mandated.

“WEC is not doing this [green subsidies] on its own, at all,” he said. “Even a company like Hardwick Electric Department is required to be doing something.”

He further explained this is all part of “Track 3” [Tier 3] of the state Renewable Energy Standards.

According to its press release, GMP is investing more money for incentives to “drive carbon out of … homes and businesses.” This includes a subsidy of $3,000 for electric vehicle purchases, $650 for heat pumps, $250 for electric bikes and $50 for electric mowers.

“These programs, encouraged by the state’s leaders and legislation, and reviewed by regulators, help increase affordability and predictability for Vermonters while helping meet state decarbonization goals,” the release states. “When customers choose to go electric it helps cut carbon emissions because GMP’s power supply is 60 percent renewable and 90 percent carbon-free. The switch also directly helps to cut costs for all GMP customers.”

Some business owners are really feeling green. Ben Hills, owner of Flying Crow Coffee in Springfield, says that his company’s switch to 90 percent carbon-free electric is helping his coffee roasting business.

“Without the help from GMP my business wouldn’t be growing the way it is now,” he said.

Green Mountain Power also is behind the push to get more Vermonters driving electric vehicles as a “better option for many Vermonters.”

However, EV technology has many hurdles to overcome. The entry-level cost for a new EV remains around $30,000 — after a $7,500 federal rebate and additional rebates — and the batteries are made from a rare earth material called cobalt, which is mined in terrible conditions from underpaid labor in Africa.

Electric heat pumps have also come under scrutiny after during a two-week bitter cold stretch in 2018 when many of the pumps failed to perform under frigid conditions.

Kelly acknowledged electric heat pumps sometimes require a supplemental heating system.

“Our experience has been that people have had great success with heat pumps, and often a backup heat system is recommended,” she said.

GMP is also hosting a contest in which employees will plant 40 trees for the Vermont communities that write the best essay on why they should get these trees. The essay should include how the they intend to “ensure they continue to reduce carbon for decades.”

JT Dodge, of Newbury, has been one of the leaders of the anti-carbon tax movement in Vermont, and he had some tougher words for GMP’s venture into climate action.

“Green Mountain Power has selfish reasons for being so ‘helpful’. When GMP initiates higher rates, fees, and rebates while pushing e-bikes and electric mowers, they are pushing and encouraging carbon fees and taxes,” he wrote in a statement.

“What really bothers me is that many Vermonters are missing that Green Mountain Power is Canada’s billion-dollar energy corporation named, ‘Energir’ (formerly Gaz Metro). The ‘Democratic Climate Caucus’ would have this foreign corporation in charge of all of our electricity generation and service here in Vermont. They serve to win very large, long term profits by securing Vermont’s electricity.”

Green Mountain Power says they are a fully regulated utility that does not profit from electricity sales.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Green Mountain Power

6 thoughts on “Green Mountain Power to take supporting role in upcoming climate strike

  1. GMP is making big bucks implementing and managing various RE programs.

    It has a PROFIT motive to be clamoring for demonstrations in the streets, disrupt traffic of innocent rate payers on their way, not to pick up a welfare check, but to go to work, pay taxes to feed the government bureaucrats.

    There are various folks who point at 60 or so computer programs all showing a temperature increase.
    In 12 years the world will come to an end, says a former bartender from Brooklyn.

    Here is my explanation regarding why those computer programs all predict about the same temperature increase.

    I work for an RE organization and am in charge of the temperature prediction computer program that helps keep a steady RE funding flow going.
    I could be working at Dartmouth or UVM or MIT, or any entity dependent on an RE funding flow.
    The flows likely would be from entities MAKING BIG BUCKS BY PLAYING THE RE ANGLE, like Warren Buffett.

    My job security bias would be to adjust early data to produce low temperatures and later data to produce high temperatures.
    I would use clever dampers and other tricks to make the program “behave”, with suitable squiggles to account for el ninos, etc.
    Also I do not want to stick out by being too low or too high.
    Everyone in the organization would know me as one of them, a team player.
    Hence, about 60 or so temperature prediction programs behave the same way, if plotted on the same graph.

    Comes along the graph, based on 40-y satellite data, which requires no adjustments at the low end or the high end.
    It has plenty of ACCURATE data; no need to fill in any blanks or make adjustments.
    Its temperature prediction SLOPE is about 50% of ALL THE OTHERS.

    If I were a scientist, that alone would give me a HUGE pause.
    However, I am merely an employee, good with numbers and a family to support.
    Make waves? Not me.

    If the above is not rational enough, here is another.
    At Dartmouth the higher ups have decided burning trees is good.
    Well, better than burning fossil fuels any way, which is not saying much.
    By now all Dartmouth employees mouth in unison “burning trees is good, burning fossill fuels is bad”.
    Job security is guaranteed for all.

    But what about those pesky ground source heat pumps OTHER universities are using for their ENTIRE campus.
    Oh, we looked at that and THEY are MUCH too expensive.
    For now, ONLY THIRTYFIVE YEARS, Dartmouth will burn trees.
    Dartmouth, with $BILLIONS in endowments, could not possibly afford those heat pumps.

    And so it goes , said Kurt Vonnegut, RIP.

  2. I want to debate your personal attack on me about a “Wet Snow Loading” connection to a warming ocean back last December. This is connected to a warming planet and Anthropogenic Global Warming if, your man enough. I stand by “science”, and nothing was overstated. Roger R. Hill – Weathering Heights 45 plus years experience in the field.

  3. All GMP customers have a wonderful option, what would happen if all customers refused to pay their bills unless or until GMP gets off this silly kick?????

  4. What about the carbon footprint required to manufacture the millions and millions of solar panel? Or to manufacture the wind generators? What about the carbon emitted by the government’s military jets, politicians jets, commercial jets? It seems pretty sketchy that Vermonters are expected to give up our way of life but no one around us is. Why aren’t the greenies going after them? If everyone is to make sacrifices, according to them, then EVERYONE should make them. They shutdown VT Yankee with a bunch of bogus excuses and fear mongering, but it didn’t add anything to VT’s carbon footprint while producing up to 66% of our energy needs.

    This whole deal about changing everyone’s lives to save the planet is a crock of you know what. Someone will make a lot of $$$ over a few short years, while separating the citizens from their dineros for many years. Maybe I and many others will be wrong about this, but if not, we’ll all be a lot poorer and with less energy to enjoy life.

  5. Thanks GMP. i musta missed the email asking me if i want my rate money used so you can pander to the left. Where the Hell is DPS….oh….i forgot….they are a Division of GMP.

  6. Really, taking a supporting role in the upcoming climate strike!

    One of our local Propane retailers in the Rutland area has been running a commercial that illustrates how the average cost to operate a 40 gal. water heater per year with propane is far less than with electricity.
    To close the deal and promote the sale of their propane we learn something contrary to the perception created by climate alarmists and our own Green Mountain Power, the carbon footprint of the propane water heater is far less than that of the electric water heater, oops!

    Sounds like these guys want us to put all of our eggs in the wrong basket, this is what happens when government partners with industry, they pick the winners. Guess who the losers are?

    In a free market governments job is to keep industry participation open to all by not playing favorites, this promotes honesty and transparency. When honesty is in question they may be called on to regulate, but when they become involved in the process of the industry there is a conflict of interest.

    Are we getting the straight scoop on electricity or is a false impression being created by the omission of key information designed to manipulate?

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