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Article 14 Explained

On March 5, 2019, Montpelier voters will determine whether the city shall amend Section 301 of the City Charter to include:

“(D) Enact ordinances enforcing minimum efficiency standards and disclosure requirements for existing and new commercial and residential properties that are generally consistent with State, Federal, and other energy efficiency standards and reporting systems.”

What does this mean?

The City of Montpelier does not currently have the authority to enforce efficiency standards or disclosure requirements for existing or new commercial and residential properties. The Charter change would allow City Council to enact ordinances that enforce such requirements, which align with the city’s Environmental Stewardship and Sustainable Infrastructure goals.

Example Ordinances

(referenced at the February 27 City Council meeting)

  1. Time of Sale: A multifamily building will be required to meet certain energy efficiency performance standards at the time of sale (similar to Burlington’s Time of Sale Energy Efficiency Ordinance, see below)

  2. Home Energy Disclosures: Standardized energy information about a home is disclosed whenever a home is put on the market

  3. Covering Heating Costs: Landlords of buildings that are not considered energy efficient will be required to pay for heat (an incentive for the landlord to improve energy efficiency)

Intended Purpose

  • Improve energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings in Montpelier

  • Decrease energy costs for landlords and tenants

  • Inform potential home buyers and renters of a unit’s energy efficiency before purchase

Potential Implications

  • Increase costs incurred by property owners to bring buildings up to energy efficiency standards

  • Increase rent for tenants to cover costs

  • Increase regulation on residential buildings

  • Expenditure of local resources before State enacts new Vermont Building Energy Standards (estimated for January 2020, see below)

Other Examples

Burlington Time of Sale Energy Efficiency Ordinance

Vermont Building Energy Standards Update

HERS® Index

Massachusetts Stretch Energy Codes

Next Steps

  • March 5 Annual City Meeting - Montpelier voters determine whether the city shall enact the proposed amendment to the City Charter

  • If passed by the majority of voters, the proposed City Charter amendment will go to the Vermont General Assembly for approval

  • If approved by the General Assembly, the City plans to engage stakeholders (e.g. landlords, tenants, historic preservation experts, developers, etc.) for input on new city ordinances

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