Burlington’s electric utility offers new rebate

Brandon Arcari, Senior Staff Writer

Buyers of new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles costing under $50,000 in Burlington can receive a $1200 rebate from Burlington Electric, the city’s electric utility.

The rebate is offered as part of a four-year program to achieve net-zero emissions in electric, thermal and ground transport areas in Burlington. It will also aid the state in achieving its renewable energy goals, which required all electric utilities in the state to obtain 55% of their annual retail electricity sales from eligible renewable sources by January 1, and increases the number by 4% every three years until reaching 75% on January 1, 2032.

Burlington Electric has installed 13 EV charging stations—totaling 24 charging ports—around Burlington, including several places on UVM’s campus. UVM’s charging stations include four spots near the Davis Center, two by the Johnson House, two on Trinity Campus and two in the Gutterson Garage.

“For Burlington to be successful in achieving its net zero energy goal, we must tackle the transportation sector’s significant and growing greenhouse gas emissions,” Mayor Miro Weinberger said in a May 30 press release. “Burlington Electric and members of the Burlington community are leading the way in creating solutions to our climate challenges.”

While the program currently requires participants to submit paperwork in order to receive the rebate, Burlington Electric says it is working on automatic approval of the rebate by car dealerships.

“I think that it is a great idea; it’s an incentive for people to go electric,” said Kayla Morrison, a sophomore in the Rubenstein school.

Darren Springer, Burlington Electric COO told VPR that Burlington Electric has budgeted to fund at least 40 vehicles in the first year of the four-year program. During that four-year window, Springer said, the utility hopes to help pay for 240 electric vehicles. Drive Electric VT, an electric car advocacy group, provides a list on their website of different vehicles that the program covers.

There are other charging stations scattered around Burlington, including locations on Main street and Cherry Street,  according to Burlington Electric.

“We’re proud that UVM is playing a leadership role in helping Vermont put more electric vehicles on the road and achieve its goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a result,” President Tom Sullivan said in a May 4 press release. “BED has been a terrific partner in this initiative, providing both the technical expertise needed to install the stations and all the necessary resources.”