A divided Vermont Public Service Board has agreed that next year’s budget for the state’s energy efficiency utility should rise more slowly than initially proposed.
Two members of the board say they agree with the outgoing Dean administration that a $16 million budget can’t be justified in the midst of the economic downturn. They’ve ordered that Efficiency Vermont’s $12 million budget only increase to $14 million. But Board Chairman Michael Dworkin says that’s short-sighted because Efficiency Vermont has been proven to reduce the long-term cost of electricity. The money is raised by a surcharge on electric utility bills.