Climate Leadership and Green Economy
Joan has been strongly supportive of Burlington playing a leadership role in addressing climate change, including voting to endorse the City’s foundational Net Zero Energy Roadmap in 2019 and voting to declare a Climate Emergency. https://vtdigger.org/2019/09/24/burlington-city-council-declares-climate-emergency/
Burlington’s leadership on climate, and our achievement of becoming the first city in the nation to source 100 percent of our power from renewable generation, can also help attract new clean energy businesses to locate and expand here. This includes BETA Technologies which is creating new jobs as an innovative electric vertical aviation company, and the HULA campus in the South End which is home to dozens of businesses and co-working spaces and is a net zero space using geothermal heating and cooling instead of fossil fuel.
Voting to advance key initiatives, such as Burlington’s thermal energy charter change in 2020 that was ultimately supported by nearly 65 percent of Burlington voters Town Meeting Day 2021 and was subsequently approved by the Legislature and Governor. This charter change now will enable Burlington to set new policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in new construction, in municipal buildings, and in certain large commercial properties. It builds on action taken by the Mayor and Council in 2021 to require new construction projects use a primary renewable heating system, a policy which was recently also adopted by our neighbors in South Burlington. https://www.burlingtonelectric.com/wp-content/uploads/Signed-CC-Ordinance-Chapter-8.-Building-And-Building-Construction-Addition-of-Article-V.-Heating-Systems-Signed.pdf and https://vermontbiz.com/news/2022/april/21/burlington%E2%80%99s-thermal-energy-charter-change-approved
Voting to implement new rental property weatherization standards, helping to ensure renters will have more affordable energy bills and more comfortable homes. Joan successfully advocated for the City to adopt a zoning regulation requiring new buildings over 50,000 sq. ft to meet LEED Gold standards. https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/2021/05/11/burlington-weatherization-ordinance-meets-approval-city-apartments/5034718001/
Supporting the long-held goal of district energy, which would use waste heat and steam from McNeil to provide renewable energy for heating and process steam to UVM Medical Center and UVM. https://vermontbiz.com/news/2021/february/08/burlington-enters-phase-3-creating-district-energy-system
Voting to advance the $20 million Net Zero Energy Revenue Bond, which voters ultimately adopted in December of 2021. The Revenue Bond proposal will enable Burlington Electric Department to invest in enhanced grid reliability, new infrastructure including electric vehicle charging stations, and a doubling of funds for customer incentives to switch to cold-climate heat pumps, electric vehicles, electric bikes and lawn equipment, and other technologies. https://vermontbiz.com/news/2021/september/28/burlington-voters-consider-20m-net-zero-energy-revenue-bond-and-40m-go-bond