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Grant Making Criteria 2019

Vermont Low Income Trust for Electricity (VLITE).

The mission of VLITE is to help meet the needs of low-income Vermonters by reducing energy costs and increasing energy efficiency. Since we began issuing grants in 2013, VLITE’s strategy has also been to support projects that can be transformational — that can serve as models and open new pathways for renewable technologies, efficiency measures, and education and outreach programs. Vermont is transitioning to a largely renewable-energy economy, with all the economic, environmental and health benefits that improve all Vermonters lives.

Through its Comprehensive Energy Plan, the state has set an ambitious goal — that by 2050, 90% of all Vermont’s energy needs, in transportation, buildings and electric power, will be met by renewable sources, with our overall energy consumption reduced by more than one third.

VLITE has also issued over $6 million in grants supporting projects that, in part, are reduced energy costs and improved the long-term energy efficiency of low income Vermonters homes; helped to promote electric vehicles and install more charging stations; and helped utilities to protect power supplies and better deploy the energy that’s being generated by the growing number of solar and biomass resources around the state.

At our December 2018 meeting, the VLITE Board updated its strategic plan. The Board determined that it needed to further increase its commitment to low income Vermonters. In prior years, VLITE as an annual average, issued 55% to 60% of its grants to improving energy efficiency for low income Vermonters. In FY 2019 the percentage will be increased to 75%. The remaining 25% will still continue to support Comprehensive Energy Plan projects that can be transformational — that can serve as models and open new pathways for renewable technologies, efficiency measures, education and job development. These percentages can be revised at the discretion of the VLITE Board.

Change in Grant Proposal process Review: (criteria enclosed)

VLITE is revising its grant process in FY 2019.

The VLITE’s grant submittal process will occur twice yearly. VLITE will conduct grant reviews two times each year.  We anticipate this will make the grant process much simpler and yield a better product.  It will also allow greater competition amongst the grant requestors.

May VLITE Board Meeting – (5/21/19) Comprehensive Energy Plan grants – grants which support projects that can be transformational — that can serve as models and open new pathways for renewable technologies, efficiency measures, support energy job training, and new energy sector business programs.

May 6, 2019 VLITE is accepting grant proposals for grants, which support projects that can be transformational

September Meeting – (9/10/19)

September will be low income efficiency and renewables


Download (PDF, 39KB)



Prepared by Paul Craven, ED

VLITE Board of Directors Meeting

December 11, 2018

Stowe Electric Department (Stowe, VT)

(1:05 PM – 4:00 PM)

In attendance:

Board members: Dick Marron, Richard Rubin, Annie Noonan, Hal Cohen,

Others: Paul Craven, Ken Jones, Ed Delhagen, Geoff Wilcox


Summary meeting minutes:


A motion was made to approve the draft minutes from the September 5, 2018 Board of Directors meeting.

1st Richard Rubin, 2nd Annie Noonan

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain


Treasurers report – Annie Noonan

A motion was made to approve the Treasurers report.

1st Dick Marron, 2nd Hal Cohen

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

Change to VLITE Bylaws

A motion was made to revise the Bylaws – change from Board Members serving three consecutive terms to four terms.

1st Dick Marron, 2nd Hal Cohen

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

Discussion of Strategic Plan (see attached)

The strategic plan as developed by Allen Rogers was accepted by the Board. A new grant review criteria would be developed by the ED for discussion at the February meeting. The Board also concurred with the recommendation to revise the grant review process. Two Board meetings each year would be dedicated to review grants, which specifically served low income Vermonters and addressed Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan.

VLITE ongoing grant funding update:

Grant status report

Grant distribution

Upcoming grants

Grant requests:

SEVCA – SEVCA’s Community Solar for Community Action project ($50,000)

SEVCA’s Community Solar for Community Action project involves construction of a 110-kW solar array at its Westminster location, which will deliver energy assistance through virtual net metering credits to approximately 50 low-income households per year.

A motion was made to approve the SEVCA request.

1st Richard Rubin, 2nd Annie Noonan

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

Meeting dates in FY 2019: February 12, May 21, September 10 & December 17.

Meeting Closure 4:00 PM



Considering the future direction of VLITE

The past – VLITE has successfully distributed $5.8 million to non-profit organizations that support low income households and move the state towards its goals in the Comprehensive Energy Plan. In the past, VLITE has both responded to and solicited proposals for the use of funds and the Board has decided the proper allocation of our annual dividend payments from VELCO. In addition to the positive results of the individual initiatives, VLITE has established a solid network of energy experts across the state.

The present – The Board is asking for an improved process to produce improved outcomes for the use of VLITE funds.

Based on the observation that VLITE now receives funding requests greater than the funds available through our VELCO distribution. VLITE should be considering other options for the future. Listed below are some my thoughts:

The future – There are many paths forward and I will suggest two.

Reduce the amount of the VLITE’s yearly grant distribution to Vermont non-profits. For the interim continue with grant support categories and percentages for: Low Income Efficiency ($3,110,000/ 55%); Economic/ New Technology ($1,097,000/ 19%); Transportation ($904,134/ 16%; Education/ Outreach ($563,000/ 10%). This would afford the Board Members with the opportunity to continue to support initiatives that they feel worthwhile and further the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan.

Work with leaders in the energy field to develop one or more comprehensive proposals that will be longer term and larger in scope. The development process will take 6 months at which point the Board will decide to allocate a larger portion of future revenues which will leave a smaller amount of money to respond to the requests reflecting the types of proposals VLITE has funded in the past.

More on Option Two

There are several activities in the Clean Energy arena in Vermont. Each of these has concluded its work and is teeing up recommendations to address Vermont’s energy future.

This is a unique opportunity for VLITE. These groups have spent months developing recommendations and now it’s time for implementation. One of the primary challenges for these recommendations will be a source of funding. VLITE can dedicate that funding to take this work to the next stage and provide that implementation. If the Board choses our funding could be used as “seed money” to advance new programs.

We would build off the planning work done to date by the Commissions listed below. We would also continue to work with leaders and businesses in the Vermont clean energy arena, who have assembled these recommendations to further refine and develop two/three possible programs for possible implementation.

I recommend VLITE solicit the continued support of a small working group (5/6) energy leaders to assist VLITE in advancing potential programs for implementation. This would occur within the next few months. These concepts would be presented to the Board for their input. And, a decision would be made by the Board to further refine one or two of these concepts for implementation. This phase will be concluded within the next six months.


The following is a list of those activities.

Climate Action Commission – On July 31, the Climate Action Commission will present a set of recommendations to Governor Scott for his consideration. Many of these recommendations will require funding and VLITE could provide support to move one or more of the activities forward.

Clean Energy Finance Collaborative – The Public Service Department established a panel of experts from the public and private sector to investigate funding options for the support of renewable energy generation and increased efficiency activities. The Collaborative has just completed its draft report and is refining it for final release.

Climate Economy Action Team – An outcome from the VT Council on Rural Development Climate Economy Summit was the creation of the Climate Economy Action Team. This group is working on statewide issues as well as working with individual communities to spark the activity that will provide improvement in the delivery of energy services while also taking advantage of economic opportunities.

In each case, VLITE has worked with leaders of these initiatives and can provide funding for the innovative strategies under development as well as make linkages to individuals and organizations that represent the network of experts on our Board and from organizations that we have funded.

The identification, refinement and ultimate choice of comprehensive approaches is a function of the Board. To provide a flavor of the opportunities, the following are extracted from the three projects listed above.

Establish an Innovation Fund for supporting Clean Energy Business activities
Accelerate the pace of weatherization for low income homes
Provide incentives for low income households to own electric vehicles and develop a revenue stream for their ownership by participating in ride share services
Establish a Revolving Loan Fund to support energy efficiency investments for public sector buildings (Municipal, Universities, Schools and Hospitals – MUSH)
Support a keystone project for Climate Economy Communities that fits with a comprehensive set of strategies to move their towns to a sustainable energy future.

If this option is considered, the Executive Director, with the assistance of the 5/6 energy leader’s would lead the Board through a series (2 or 3) of meetings that winnows the list of possible programs topics – providing an increasing level of detail as the list gets shorter and the projects more focused.

VLITE Board of Directors Meeting December 11, 2018

VLITE Board of Directors Meeting

December 11, 2018

(1:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

Stowe Electric Department (Stowe, VT)

(Lunch is provided)

Welcome 1:00 PM

Minutes from September 5, 2018 Board meeting

Treasurers report 1:10 PM

Board vote VLITE bylaw change – increase Board term limits

Board strategic plan 1:15 PM

Update on Climate Action Commission recommendations 1:45 PM

VLITE ongoing grant funding update: 2:15 PM
Grant’s status report
Upcoming grant requests: (ED recommendations attached)
The Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) in partnership with Southeast Vermont Community Action (SEVCA). ($175,000) not recommended

· Hartford Solar ($20,000) program change

· Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) ($75,000) not recommended

· Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund ($300,000) no recommendation yet/ not time sensitive

Meeting dates for fiscal year 2019: February, May, September & December

Meeting Closure 4:00 PM