The only New England state not to border the Atlantic Ocean, Vermont (with somewhat more than 600,000 residents) is the second-smallest state by population, after Wyoming, and the eighth-smallest state by area (with 9,616 square miles).

Vermont’s forest-covered mountains and fast-running rivers are home to substantial renewable energy resources and no fossil fuel reserves. Less than 100 miles across at its widest, Vermont lies between the shores of the Connecticut River on its eastern border with New Hampshire, and Lake Champlain and the Hudson River Valley on its western border with New York. The mountains that run the length of Vermont, from Canada in the north to the hills of Massachusetts in the south, occupy most of the state and have Vermont’s greatest wind resources. Rivers that descend from the mountains and those that border the state provide hydroelectric resources. Forests that cover almost four-fifths of Vermont support the state’s timber products industry, whose byproducts also fuel electricity generation and home heating. More than one in eight Vermont households use wood for their primary heating source, eight times more than the national average and the largest share of any state.

More than one-fourth of Vermont’s residents live along Lake Champlain in the northwestern county that includes the city of Burlington. Most other Vermonters live in small towns and on farms. Based on the percentage of its population that lives in rural census districts, Vermont is one of the two most rural states in the nation. In part because of the state’s small population, Vermonters use less total energy than the residents of any other state in the nation, and their total energy consumption per capita is among the lowest one-fifth of states. However, Vermont consumes more than three times as much energy as it produces.

Since 1900, and more emphatically since the 1960s, Vermont has been getting warmer, with spring arriving two weeks earlier and winter starting one week later. The air temperature has increased more than 4˚F in winter and more than 2˚F in summer over the past 50 years. With 78% of its land covered in forest, and renowned for its ski industry, the increasingly warmer winters, which threaten this area of the state’s tourism, are one of Vermont’s largest climate challenges. Only New Jersey, Rhode Island and Delaware have warmed faster. Annual precipitation has increased by almost 7 inches during the same time period.

More than half of Vermont’s electricity supply comes from out of state. In 2020,  renewable resources provided about 100% of Vermont’s in-state electricity generation – the largest share of any state. Half of that came from hydroelectric power, one-sixth came from biomass, primarily from generating units that burn wood and wood-derived fuels, and almost all the rest from wind and solar energy in nearly equal amounts. Solar energy’s contribution has increased rapidly, and, in 2020, was almost four times greater than it was in 2015.

The state generates virtually no other forms of energy, producing as a result, less carbon dioxide emissions than any other state. It consumes close to four times as much energy as it produces, even as its total energy consumption is the smallest of all the states. Residential use of energy represents 34.8% of its consumption; transportation 32.5%, Commercial 19.8% and Industrial 12.9%.

Vermont is a member of the 11-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which was established to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power generation.\Proceeds from the sale of RGGI carbon allowances help fund state energy efficiency programs like Vermont’s Energy Efficiency Utility Program, which was created to provide energy efficiency services to residential and business energy consumers.

In 2011, Vermont set a goal to obtain 90% of all its energy from renewable resources by 2050 and to reduce its energy use by more than one-third. By 2016, Vermont had committed itself to a distributed energy future in which a significant portion of Vermont’s energy would be produced near where it was consumed. Published as the Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP), it established goals to reduce total energy consumption per capita by 15% by 2025, and by more than one third by 2050; to meet 25% of the remaining energy needs from renewable sources by 2025, 40% by 2035, and 90% by 2050. Vermont’s CEP has three end-use sector goals for 2025: 10% renewable transportation, 30% renewable buildings, and 67% renewable electric power.

Additionally, in 2018, Vermont committed itself to a reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions from its own energy use: 40% reduction below 1990 levels by 2030 and an 80% – 95% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. One of their primary tools is to convert more heat and transportation to highly efficient electric technologies, such as heat pumps and electric vehicles.

Vermont’s CEP reflects the enormous progress they have made in the last years. They have ten times the amount of solar installed or permitted today than it did in 2010 and 20 times as much wind energy. Over the past two years, one out of every 100 new vehicles purchased in Vermont has been a plug-in or fully electric vehicles. All of this has contributed to a clean energy economy that supports over 16,200 jobs and has helped reduce electric bills in three of the last four years for the vast majority of Vermonters.

In June, 2020, the Vermont Senate took another step, approving the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2020 (it had already passed the House in February) and “creating a legally enforceable system by which Vermont will reduce its statewide greenhouse gas emissions and establish strategies to mitigate climate risks and build resiliency to climate change.” It specifically calls for the state to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to 26% below its levels in 2005 by 2025,  it requires that emissions are reduced to 40% below their 1990 levels by 2030, and ultimately 80% below by 2050. Although Governor Phil Scott vetoed the bill both the House and the Senate voted to override his veto and the measure became law in September 2020.

Vermont is one of twenty-four states, along with Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.



Gov. Scott signs environmental justice policy and 2 other major environmental bills into law

By Abagael Giles 06/01/22
Vermont is one of the last states in New England to have an environmental justice policy on the books, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been pushing for one since 2016.

Vermont Standard Offer Program 2022 RFP released soliciting over 5 MW of new renewable energy

On March 14, 2022, the Vermont Standard Offer Facilitator (“Facilitator”) released the Request for Proposals (“RFP”) soliciting over 5 MW of new renewable energy projects under Vermont’s Standard Offer Program. The program’s individual project capacity…

Vt. House Approves Bill to Create Clean Heat Standard

Vermont’s House of Representatives passed a bill that would implement a clean heat standard, as recommended by the state's Climate Council.

Vermont Facility Reduces Energy Expenses with Solar Array

Green Lantern Solar, a renewable energy development and finance company focusing on commercial solar and energy storage systems, has completed a solar array for Chroma Technology, a Vermont-based certified B Corp in the precision optics…

Vt. lawmakers consider alternate transportation funding sources

As Vermont works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate goals, a big part of that involves electrifying the transportation sector. While the new infrastructure package approved by Congress is expected to be transformational,…

Towns in Vermont, New Hampshire collaborating on solar projects

A group of towns in Vermont and New Hampshire is collaborating on solar projects. The Valley News reports the Solarize 2022 campaign started in Cornish, New Hampshire. The town committed to a 100% renewable energy…

GlobalFoundries says it will comply with Vermont’s renewable energy requirements

Semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries says it will move forward with its proposal to become its own electric utility, after state regulators told the company last week that it could not skirt the state’s renewable energy standard.

Groups urge bigger targets, more equity as RGGI states consider changes

As the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, undergoes a thorough review by participating states, environmental advocates are demanding more ambitious emission reduction targets and a mandate for equitable distribution of the revenues.

Senate overrides veto of Global Warming Solutions Act, making it law

The Vermont Senate voted Tuesday to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act — legislation that legally requires the state to meet targets for reducing carbon emissions in the coming years.…

This Vermont Utility Is Revolutionizing Its Power Grid to Fight Climate Change. Will the Rest of the Country Follow Suit?

Visitors entering a code-locked central control room at Green Mountain Power (GMP)’s Colchester, Vt., headquarters instinctively lower their voices, whispering in deference to operators relaying orders from behind semicircular clusters of screens. It’s an intimidating…

Converting Dairy Waste to Renewable Energy and Clean Water

Leyline Renewable Capital announced a partnership with PurposeEnergy to facilitate the development of the SAINT project in St. Albans, Vt., that will anaerobically convert industrial food waste, including Ben & Jerry's high-strength dairy waste and depackaged…

Burlington is on track to meet Net Zero Energy city goal

EV driver Linda Provost listens to a question outside her Burlington home on Monday. To Linda’s right are Darren Springer and Jennifer Green. To Linda’s left are Mayor Weinberger, Stu McGowan, and Gabrielle Stebbins. Courtesy…

Vermont Electric plans for carbon neutrality by 2023, renewable energy by 2030

By Jack Summersby 05/06/21
Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2023 and transition fully to renewable, carbon-free energy sources by 2030, according to an announcement released last month. CEO Rebecca Towne cited member enthusiasm and statewide climate…

Burlington is on track to meet Net Zero Energy city goal

 Mayor Miro Weinberger, the Burlington Electric Department, and other city team and community leaders today jointly announced that Burlington is off to a great start toward meeting its ambitious Net Zero Energy city by 2030 goal

Scott pitches $1 billion plan to invest in housing, broadband and climate

By Xander Landen 04/06/21
Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday unveiled a plan to spend $1 billion of federal Covid-19 aid on major investments in broadband expansion, affordable housing and initiatives to address climate change. If approved by the Legislature,…

Scott pitches $1 billion plan to invest in housing, broadband and climate

By Xander Landen 04/06/21
Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday unveiled a plan to spend $1 billion of federal Covid-19 aid on major investments in broadband expansion, affordable housing and initiatives to address climate change.

Preparing for Climate Change in Vermont

This page provides an overview of the steps Vermont is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Vermont’s Climate Goals

Climate change could have disastrous effects across the world, and here in the northeast U.S. too, if left unchecked.  We’re already getting a preview. The extent of climate change is linked to how much carbon dioxide,…

Vermont 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan

Vermont stands at a moment of great promise for a clean energy future. Over the four years since the publication of the last Comprehensive Energy Plan, Vermonters have built a foundation of infrastructure, policies, and programs…


Vermont State Profile and Energy Estimates

Vermont's forest-covered mountains and fast-running rivers are home to substantial renewable energy resources, but the state has no fossil energy reserves. Less than 100 miles across at its widest, Vermont lies between the shores of…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Vermont

In 2018, Vermont experienced one severe storm. The damages of this event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Vermont

Vermont is vulnerable to increasing temperatures, floods and droughts, and a shorter winter

AllEarth Solar

We believe in Renewable Energy for All. Every AllEarth dual-axis solar tracker is designed, tested, and engineered in Vermont.

Renewable Energy Vermont

Continuing our history of innovative and independent leadership, we work hard every day to help Vermont become a national beacon of resilience and renewal through advancements in renewable energy.

NOAA State Climate Summaries: Vermont

Information from NOAA to help understand climate change in Vermont.

Climate Change in Vermont

An overview of how climate change is affecting Vermont.

Climate Change in Vermont

Explore Vermont’s climate goals and initiatives, and find out how you can take action.


Vermont Proposition announces action team, working document

By Keith Whitcomb   10/05/21  
The 23-member team that will work towards advancing “The Vermont Proposition” was announced Thursday, along with the working version of the proposition itself.

Five Vermont conservation leaders: Forests belong in reconciliation bill

By Commentary   10/05/21  
Vermont is experiencing firsthand the far-reaching impacts of climate change and the global nature crisis. Winter temperatures are rising and snowfall totals are dropping, while many species of wildlife are shifting their ranges farther to…

Will climate resilience earn enough weight in Vermont’s Climate Action Plan?

By Grace Benninghoff and Emma Cotton   10/05/21  
Does Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act leave enough room for the state Climate Council to treat climate resilience with the same urgency as emissions reductions? With the deadline for the Climate Action Plan fast approaching,…

Single turbine proposed for Grandpa’s Knob

By Keith Whitcomb   10/04/21  
A wind developer wants to put a single turbine atop Grandpa’s Knob and share the profits with surrounding towns that might be affected.

Electric vehicles projected to play big role in Vermont emission reductions

By David Thill   10/03/21  
Vermont’s road to reduced greenhouse gas emissions will likely require converting tens of thousands of drivers to electric vehicles this decade. That’s according to a recent report by Vermont’s Energy Action Network that modeled a…

Can public transit adjust fast enough to meet Vermont’s emissions deadline?

By Jack Lyons   10/03/21  
As Vermont races toward its self-imposed deadline to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there’s an urgent push to get more people out of their cars and on public transit.

Vermont manufacturer introduces low-embodied carbon building material to US

By Kelly Notterman   10/03/21  
“The built environment is responsible for nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rob Conboy, founder and CEO of Glavel(link is external). “There is the energy we use to heat and cool buildings, which…

Upper Valley farmers use variety of strategies to limit contributions to climate change

By Claire Potter   10/02/21  
A light, reddish soil covered the pastures that Stephen Leslie and his wife, Kerry Gawalt, found at Cedar Mountain Farm when they arrived in 1999

Vermont Land Trust receives $6 million gift to help farming and farmers

By Jackie O'Brien   09/30/21  
The Vermont Land Trust has received $6 million to help diversify farm ownership, boost economic viability of farming and fight the effects of climate change on Vermont farms.The gift from the High Meadows Fund was…

As Vermont Works On A Climate Action Plan, Youth Activists Look To Rebuild Their Movement

By Abagael Giles   09/29/21  
Leading up to the pandemic, the Vermont Youth Lobby was staging big demonstrations — even holding a Youth Congress at the Statehouse — to call for adults to take bold action on climate change. Now,…

Moving to renewable energy is key to climate change

By Peter Sterling   09/24/21  
A recent piece by anti-renewable energy crusader Annette Smith asks, “Is Electrifying Everything a Climate Solution?” For those of us concerned about the changing climate’s increasing number of floods, wildfires, hurricanes and record-breaking temperatures the…

The NIMBY Threat to Renewable Energy

By Jim Motavalli   09/20/21  
THE WIND IS TOO FIERCE to hike any farther up the wooded ridge to the 15 wind turbines that make up the Deerfield Wind Farm. That, after all, is why they're here. Fifteen years in…

Commission denies Manchester solar array, approves Middlebury project

By Emma Cotton   09/20/21  
The Public Utility Commission has split the difference on two large solar projects that have sparked interest and controversy in recent months, advancing one in Middlebury and rejecting another in Manchester.

Vermont AG takes on Exxon, Shell over climate change in new lawsuit

By Sebastien Malo   09/15/21  
Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan sued Exxon Mobil Corp and the Shell Oil Co in Vermont state court on Tuesday, alleging the companies misled Vermonters for decades with marketing that conceals the contributions to climate…

Vermont Climate Council launches events to gather feedback for state Climate Action Plan

Vermont Business Magazine From hotter days to more frequent and intense storms, Vermont’s climate patterns are clearly shifting and impacting our state. This fall, state officials, local leaders and members of the Vermont Climate Council…

Morrisville salvage yard’s new solar array helps power the community

Vermont Business Magazine Encore Renewable Energy and VPPSA announced today the commissioning of a new 2.1 MW community solar array located at a former auto salvage yard. The project was developed as part of a…

Vermont to get $70,000 for solar projects from USDA

Vermont Business Magazine US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure(link is external) and to help rural communities, agricultural producers…

iSun acquires SunCommon for $40 million

Vermont Business Magazine iSun, Inc (NASDAQ: ISUN) and SolarCommunities Inc (dba/ SunCommon) announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which a subsidiary of iSun will acquire SunCommon for $40 million, in cash and…

What part of the US is safest from climate change?

By Camille Squires   09/04/21  
The storms, floods, heat, and fires that have ravaged the US in 2021 have made the ongoing climate crisis feel especially acute for citizens across the country. And the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…

Vermont digs in on incentives to boost geothermal heat pumps

By David Thill   09/01/21  
Vermont this summer launched an initiative to spur a challenging but potentially crucial market in the state’s decarbonization goals: ground-source heat pumps.

$15M for Vermont projects to support Lake Champlain Basin, renewable energy

By WCAX News Team   08/05/21  
Millions of dollars are coming to Vermont to fund projects in the state. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, on Thursday announced more than $15 million in funding for Vermont projects.…

This Vermont Utility Is Revolutionizing Its Power Grid to Fight Climate Change. Will the Rest of the Country Follow Suit?

By Alejandro Dela Garza   07/26/21  
isitors entering a code-locked central control room at Green Mountain Power (GMP)’s Colchester, Vt., headquarters instinctively lower their voices, whispering in deference to operators relaying orders from behind semicircular clusters of screens.

Vermont Agency of Transportation will add electric buses with $1 million grant

By Sophie McDermott- Hughes   06/25/21  
The Vermont Agency of Transportation will buy four electric buses to traverse the central part of the state with a $1 million “Low and No Emissions” grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

Lake Champlain Basin Program Releases Triannual State Of The Lake Report

By Pat Bradley   06/24/21  
The Lake Champlain Basin Program has released its tri-annual State of the Lake Report.  The assessment that reviews the water quality of Lake Champlain finds some progress has been made in cleaning up the lake,…

Vermont dairy farm honored with national award for sustainable practices

By Jack Thurstan   06/17/21  
A Vermont dairy farm has won a national award for its environmental practices, which the farmers say should aid the fight against climate change and protect water quality.

Scott signs $7.35 billion state budget

By Kit Norton   06/08/21  
Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday signed an expansive $7.35 billion state budget that, buoyed by federal Covid-19 relief funds, invests heavily in broadband, affordable housing projects and measures to fight climate change.

Vermont heats up: Weekend heat breaks records

By Emma Cotton   06/07/21  
On the heels of abnormally dry conditions, softened but not eliminated by last week’s rain, early June has brought several days of increasingly common record-breaking heat to Vermont.

Vermont clean energy jobs board aims to net more resumes from women

By David Thill   06/03/21  
Advocates in Vermont hope a new clean energy jobs board and resume bank can help open doors and diversify a sometimes clubby, male-dominated sector.

How Vermont could meet its required climate goals

By Katya Schwenk   05/25/21  
If Vermont hopes to reach its mandated climate goals, it will need to make drastic changes to its transportation and heating sectors, according to the Energy Action Network.

So how is Vermont doing fighting climate change? A new report tells us.

By Dan D' Ambrosio   05/25/21  
Vermonters spend $1.5 billion annually on fossil fuels for heating and transportation, representing a "major drain on the state economy," according to a report released Tuesday by the nonprofit Energy Action Network.

Governor lets controversial H315 become law without his signature

 Governor Phil Scott announced Saturday evening that he will allow H315 to become law without his signature. While the bill includes several important measures related to economic recovery from the pandemic, it also includes several…

Stromberg: Environmental benefits of going solar in Vermont

By Jane Stromberg   04/15/21  
This earth day, let’s focus on taking steps that will protect the unique traits that keep Vermont, well, Vermonty. Whether it’s the quaint covered bridges or the thriving local farm scene, climate change is eroding…

New report examines Vermont’s response to climate change

lays the groundwork for understanding what topics and challenges are being prioritized by state government in the push to move Vermont toward a clean energy economy, limit carbon pollution, and prepare for the impacts of…

EPA recognizes Efficiency Vermont’s service to low- and moderate-income Vermonters

By Jeff Buell   04/13/21  
The COVID-19 pandemic affected low- and moderate-income Vermonters disproportionately, impacting service and hospitality jobs and increasing the time – and energy – many Vermonters spent at home.

Vermont Electric Cooperative plans to go carbon-free by 2023

By Seamus McAvoy   04/11/21  
Vermont Electric Cooperative, the state’s largest member-owned electric utility, has pledged to move to a 100% carbon-free power supply by 2023.

Vermont moose lottery expanded to 100 permits

By WCAX News Team   04/08/21  
 Vermont will hold another moose hunt this fall with a nearly 50% increase in lottery permits over last fall. Vermont Fish & Wildlife officials say they will be issuing 60 either sex permits and 40…

Report shows how electrifying Vermont’s buildings could transform energy system

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont could see a critical reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and gas usage if it electrifies all of its buildings during the next 30 years, according to a new report released Tuesday…

Scott Proposes Divvying Up $1 Billion in Aid to Housing, Broadband, and More

By Anne Wallace Allen   04/06/21  
Gov. Phil Scott's administration on Tuesday announced plans for how to spend more than $1 billion in federal pandemic relief, with housing, broadband, climate change mitigation and economic development programs all slated for massive spending…

Green Lantern Solar repowering Vermont schools

Green Lantern Solar and the Franklin West Supervisory Union have announced that Bellows Free Academy High School in Fairfax and Georgia Elementary & Middle School are now participants in Vermont’s net metering program. The two schools started…

Global Warming Solutions Act may stop Vermont cash flow

By David Flemming   03/28/21  
For several years, Vermont has made millions selling renewable energy credits to other states. But the 2020 Global Warming Solutions Act will soon cut off this cash flow, which would raise rates.

Vermont voters stoke debate on the best path to cleaner building heat

By David Thill   03/25/21  
A voter-approved charter amendment in Burlington, Vermont, could give city officials broad authority to regulate heating sources in homes and businesses — if it clears a final and significant legal hurdle at the state capital.

Vermont ‘digester’ harvests renewable gas, like cow manure and food waste, for cooking

By Joel Banner Baird   03/22/21  
 A well of natural gas is surfacing next to a dairy barn in Addison County — with not a drill rig in sight.

Vermont Statehouse is first in nation to install batteries for backup power

By Amanda Gokee   01/08/21  
Vermont is the first state in the nation to install batteries that will provide backup power at the Statehouse if the electricity goes off.

Phil Scott; Molly Gray take oath of office, outline priorities for 2021

By Greg Sukiennik   01/07/21  
MONTPELIER — Vermont Gov. Phil Scott capped off an inauguration day full of reserve and resolve Thursday with a speech outlining his plans for the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vermont public-private partnership turns unused corn silage land into 2.2-MW solar array

By SB Staff   01/06/21  
Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (“VPPSA”) and Encore Renewable Energy announced that the Lawrence Brook Solar project is now supplying renewable energy to the electric grid in Morrisville. The new 2.2-MW solar array is sited on property owned…

2020 was Vt.’s 2nd-warmest

By John Lippman   01/03/21  
To a year of disturbing events, here’s one more to add: 2020 was the second-warmest year on record. That, at least, is the latest from the Burlington station of the National Weather Service, which reports…

Speaker of the House fills vacated seat on Climate Council

Montpelier, VT, Speaker Mitzi Johnson announced the appointment of Brian Gray, General Manager of the Energy Co-op of Vermont, to represent the fuel sector on the Vermont Climate Council. 

Vermont will not join the Transportation and Climate Initiative, for now

By Xander Landen   12/21/20  
Vermont has declined for now to join the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a regional effort to cut carbon emissions over the next decade.

Vermont regulators cut incentives to switch to solar energy

By Amanda Gokee   12/20/20  
Anew report says solar energy has saved Vermonters $79 million and New Englanders $1.1 billion in just six years.

Bill Bender: Vermont greenwashing

By Bill Bender   12/16/20  
Green Mountain Power, which is owned by a Canadian natural gas distributor and supplies 70% of Vermont with electricity, claims that their energy supply is 94% carbon free and more than 63% renewable. This sounds great, except…