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Opinion: Cold climate heat pumps are preferable to natural gas

I am inspired by the rise in use of cold climate heat pumps by residents and businesses in Vermont. Heat pumps are proving to be less expensive than any fossil fuel, including natural gas, and are far cleaner.
Confidence in this technology is arriving just in the nick of time. The Public Service Board has a new opportunity this fall to reevaluate the financial burden that Vermont Gas Systems would put on ratepayers to build fossil fuel infrastructure. VGS has reported that the cost of  Phase I of the Addison County Natural Gas Pipeline has gone up 40 percent and would be paid for by Vermonters, not VGS.
I am grateful that there is a second chance for the Public Service Board to determine whether the pipeline is truly in the best interest of the people of Vermont. Now that the tide is turning with renewable technology available and affordable, the long-term commitment to natural gas doesn’t make “cents.” Locally sourced clean and efficient energy will save Vermonters more money and create many jobs. The financial rewards of engineering our own energy system will boost our economy instead of flowing out of state to Canadian corporate giants, Gaz Métro and Enbridge.
Sally Burrell
Bristol

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