The Douglas administration wants to boost spending on energy efficiency by 50% in the next two years.
But that’s about half what its consultant said would be cost-effective, and much less than environmental groups and key lawmakers want.
The Legislature passed a law last year calling on the state to spend as much as it needed to for cost-effective energy efficiency. Backers say efficiency is much more economical than buying more electricity.
Now the Department of Public Service is recommending that the budget for Efficiency Vermont grow from $17.5 million to about $26 million by 2008.
The consultant says it would be a good deal to increase annual efficiency spending to about $35 million, and that the investment would pay off three-to-one in the next ten years.