By Brett Addleman
(The Center Square) – A new electric vehicle charging program in Vermont is getting an infusion of cash.
The Vermont Community Electric Vehicle Chargers Incentive Program is getting $7 million in funding, Gov. Phil Scott said, that will be used to make electric transportation equitable and more accessible to state residents.
According to a release, the investment follows a $1 million appropriation from the General Assembly in the spring of 2022. That funding created a pilot program to incentivize Vermont residents to install charging stations at multi-unit affordable housing units.
“To meet our carbon emissions goals, we have to make it easier for Vermonters and visitors to convert to cleaner energy,” the Republican governor said in a release. “That’s why EV infrastructure has been an area of focus for my administration and partners throughout the state. In fact, Vermont leads the nation in the number of public charging stations per capita.
“This program will help us increase equity in our electrification efforts, particularly in locations where charging solutions are not as straightforward as in single-family, owner-occupied homes.”
Vermont population is estimated just under 650,000 in 2023. In January, there were 8,875 electric vehicles registered. The 2020 census said more than 600,000 vehicles – all energy forms – were registered.
According to a release, the program will be administered by Green Mountain Power through the Department of Housing and Community Development.
Marie McClure, president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power, said the program would help the state increase the transition to electric vehicles.
“A robust and widespread charging network is essential infrastructure to help us reach our carbon emissions reduction goals,” McClure said in a statement. “By working together, we can continue to lead the nation in clean energy by continuing to reduce carbon emissions from transportation.”
According to a release, the new program will build on the pilot program’s success, which helped install 84 new Level 2 charging ports at 37 locations in eight counties. The program anticipates supporting the elimination of barriers for at-home charging and could support 6,230 multi-family homes.
According to a release, incentives will be doled out on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible applicants. Pre-approved electrical contractors and local electric utilities will also provide technical assistance for those with little to no experience with charging stations.
According to a release, caps are being placed on the incentives issued per applicant, site, and county.
According to a release, the program is open to all Vermont residents, and women or minority-owned stations will have a 0% match. Nonprofits, government agencies, or multi-unit homes with 50% or greater affordable housing units will feature a 5% applicant match.
For-profit organizations or multi-unit homes with 51% or more market-rate units will have a 10% applicant match, and incentives for Level 3 charging stations at community attractions will be issued through a competitive process, which will be announced later this year.
Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.
Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.
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