New Proposal to Make State Buildings More Green, Save Dollars

Governor Shumlin announces the proposed $8 million financing plan.

Governor Shumlin announces the proposed $8 million financing plan.

Beth submitted a proposal to finance up to $8 million of efficiency improvements in State buildings, modernizing aging building stock to save Vermont taxpayers millions and cut the State’s annual carbon emissions by 5-10%. The plan was announced by Governor Shumlin at a February 26 press conference including administration officials, House Speaker Shap Smith, Representatives Willem Jewett, Alice Emmons and Mary Hooper, and Efficiency Vermont’s George Twigg.

The proposal, which requires legislative approval, authorizes the Treasurer to use up to $8 million of the State’s unrestricted cash to capitalize a revolving fund for the purposes of making the State’s buildings more green. A portion of the return on investment will be reinvested in the fund, growing the initial $8 million dollars to finance new improvements. Additional dollars generated will be applied to pay down the balance of the Treasurer’s initial capitalization.

To learn more about how this financing plan can save taxpayer dollars and bring the State of Vermont’s offices up to 21st century standards, click here to view coverage from WPTZ, or here to learn more from VTDigger

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Pearce’s program helps Vermonters save money, cut carbon

One of the energy efficiency initiatives Beth championed into law is helping Vermonters upgrade their homes to save thousands of dollars and cut carbon. As reported in today’s Rutland Herald, eligible homeowners are taking advantage of new low-cost loans available through the Treasurer’s office and its partners to make efficiency improvements that reduce thermal energy loss and curtail Vermont’s environmental impact.

The program is the result of a 2013 collaboration between the State Treasurer’s office, members of the legislature, and state instrumentalities with expertise in economic development and affordable housing. The group successfully enabled $17 million of local investment to be applied in key sectors.

Working with Neighborworks of Western Vermont and VHFA, the initiative has helped both homeowners and occupants of multifamily housing units realize the cost savings and environmental benefits of thermal efficiency upgrades.

In compliment to the housing-sector, $10 million of the state’s moral obligation was included to promote economic development in the clean and green energy sectors. The Treasurer’s office also increased the state’s local investment in the Vermont Community Loan Fund to $500,000.

To learn more about Act 87, and how the resulting programs are benefiting your neighbors and how you can take advantage of potential cost savings, click here to learn more.

Pearce to propose fossil fuel-free investment option

Beth’s first priority is fostering an environment where all Vermonters can look forward to security in retirement. She also appreciates that some Vermonters may choose to invest in funds that meet certain social or environmental needs. That’s why Beth announced this week that she will put forth a proposal to offer a fossil fuel-free investment option for State workers who wish to align their values with their investments.

The proposal will be made February 13 at the next meeting of the Vermont State Employees Retirement Board of Trustees.

Beth visits the United Nations with Maryland Treasurer Nancy Kopp

Beth and Maryland Treasurer Nancy Kopp were conveners at the UN Summit on Climate Change, where leaders discussed the intersect of the environment and global finance.

Beth’s proactive approach demonstrates a balance between her commitment to retirement security and the need to give Vermont’s hardworking employees a fossil free investment option. As State Treasurer, she understands that Vermont’s environment is important to its future.

Beyond offering socially responsible funds that reflect Vermont values, under Beth’s leadership, the Treasurer’s office has engaged with its partners to use the state’s cash to lower the cost of financing for thermal efficiency and clean energy projects. On the national stage, Beth has been recognized for her efforts to engage energy companies through constructive engagement, and other strategies that protect Vermont’s longterm investments.

This record of leadership is saving taxpayer dollars and is positioning Vermont on firm ground as we transition to the 21st century economy. Stay tuned for updates as the 2014 legislative session progresses for more of Beth’s leadership in the area of energy finance and pension security.