@$ID/[No paragraph style]:Three years ago, the price of fuel oil passed $4 per gallon. I watched people scramble. Many weatherized and bought pellet stoves and now enjoy less expensive heat.
We’ll continue to heat public buildings one way or another. How senseless it would be to not lock into the local, renewable fuel and lower-costs provided by the proposed district heating system. Literally millions of dollars are now siphoned out of the city to
purchase non-local, non-renewable fuel. The price will only increase in years to come, probably beyond our means.
One could consider district heating to be a local-options tax in reverse! Without this solution, businesses will have continuously increasing costs, most passed on to consumers. This will make downtown businesses less viable and more vulnerable. Merchants who displayed a “no local options” sign in their window should consider displaying a new sign: “Yes! We support district heating!”
I urge customers of downtown businesses to speak with owners. Ask them to support district heating. Business owners, speak with your landlords. While connecting to the system will cost, the investment is small in the long run compared to doing nothing. If you want to stay control costs, push your landlord to connect now. Landlords, run the numbers. Even with the price of heat still not finalized, its obvious district heating is a bargain. Now is the time to invest.
Clearly we need to challenge the mayor and city council to get 100 percent behind this project. Even with the potential for increased construction costs, the deal will never be sweeter. If the council won’t lead the way, ask them to get out of the way.
District heating will keep local dollars in Central Vermont. It will provide heat from a renewable resource for years to come a much more stable price. The benefits to Central Vermont are immense. Now is the time to move forward with district heating.
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