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Energy forum to be held at Town Hall Theater

MIDDLEBURY — The Public Service Department will be holding a public forum in Middlebury on Thursday, July 16, at the Town Hall Theater to solicit Vermonters’ thoughts on how the state can meet its energy goals — and energy needs — in the coming years. Refreshments start at 5:30 p.m. and the forum runs from 6 to 8 p.m. The input will inform the next revision of Vermont’s long-range Comprehensive Energy Plan. A final plan is due to the Legislature in December.
“In 2011, Vermont established a widely supported goal of getting 90 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2050. Now we want to hear more from Vermonters on how they think we should prioritize possible pathways and tools to meet this important goal,” said Asa Hopkins, director of energy policy and planning for the Public Service Department.
The state plan, which was last updated in 2011, will also incorporate some of the findings of the Total Energy Study, completed by the department last year. One of the department’s goals for the updated plan is to establish nearer-term targets that balance technology constraints, cost, carbon considerations and community concerns. The department will also host a series of forums, soliciting further public input, when a draft is available. Those will likely take place in September and October in other regions across the state.
“We’ve made tremendous progress in advancing our renewable energy and energy efficiency goals, while keeping energy costs stable and low, and there is still more progress to be made,” said Public Service Department Commissioner Christopher Recchia.
Besides the July 16 Middlebury forum, other dates and places for forums are July 20 in Manchester at the Manchester Community Library and July 23 in St. Albans at the Bellows Free Academy.
The events are co-hosted by the Vermont Public Service Department, Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission, Addison County Regional Planning Commission, Bennington Regional Commission, Northwest Regional Planning Commission, and the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network.
For more information on the CEP, visit www.energyplan.vt.gov.

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