Office of Mayor Miro Weinberger

Mayor Miro WeinbergerFebruary 2019

The work of the City requires balancing daily function with longterm planning, and from time to time, coming together for a particular extraordinary effort. We had all of the above this month, from two exciting announcements that have been years in the making, to a remarkable response to a big winter storm.
 

New EV Charging Rate Will Help Burlingtonians Save Money – and Fight Climate Change

 In January, the Burlington Electric Department (BED) announced a new charging rate for Burlingtonians with electric vehicles (EVs) who charge their cars during off-peak hours. With the new rate, Burlingtonians can fill up their cars with electricity that’s generated from 100 percent renewable sources, and for a cost that is equivalent to 60 cents per gallon of gas. A customer who switches from a gas vehicle to an EV and drives 12,000 miles per year will save approximately $912 per year.

 

At the same time, BED has also introduced new incentives that make it more affordable for Burlingtonians to buy or lease an EV and charging equipment, with an additional incentive for qualifying low-and-moderate income customers. We hope that, as Burlingtonians who are buying a car look at their options, these incentives will make it easier to consider EVs. Meanwhile, this announcement also benefits BED customers who don’t drive an EV, as it allows BED to use its grid more efficiently and includes a small fee that goes toward BED’s operating costs.

 

There’s an important reason why BED is working to make it more affordable to drive an EV. Ground transportation makes up about 40 percent of the carbon emissions in our region, and while other types of emissions are declining, these are still on the rise. Bringing down these emissions is some of the most important work that we can be doing to fight climate change. With this announcement, Burlington continues to lead the country, and show how an innovative, 21st century utility can push forward the decarbonization of transportation – and do so in a way that makes financial sense. For more information, go to: https://burlingtonelectric.com/evrate

 

Burlington International Airport Builds on Recent Success

Nine years ago, the Airport was in rough financial shape. Today, the Airport is in an entirely different place. In 2018, the Airport served 14 percent more passengers than it did in 2017 — and more than it did at any time in the last decade. At the same time, the Airport experienced 25,000 additional enplanements, announced new direct flights, and received a credit rating upgrade from both Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings. This string of successes is already continuing into 2019, with the announcement of new direct service to Denver coming later this year.

 

This turnaround is the result of a long and dedicated effort by the Airport team, and its benefits extend well beyond the Airport’s grounds. As the gateway to northern New England, the Burlington International Airport is crucial to the health of our city and our entire region. Its success in turns strengthens our local economy.

 

Response to Winter Storm

Finally, I want to recognize the giant lift that the Department of Public Works made to clear our streets and sidewalks from the recent winter storm. The high winds and intensity of this storm meant that crew members worked 16-hour days plowing, with managers and employees from other teams joining the plowing effort to ensure round-the-clock coverage. As crews worked through the night on the roads, the equipment maintenance shop also stayed open to repair trucks and tractors, and several staff slept onsite or in area hotels in order to be able to get to work. I am deeply appreciative of the team’s efforts, as well as of Burlingtonians’ understanding as we worked to clear the roads and many messages of thanks for our crews.

As always, I encourage you to join me at the Bagel Café on North Avenue on Wednesday mornings from 8-9am to share your thoughts and questions. You can also visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MiroBTV/ or follow me on Twitter at @BTVMayor for information on the work of the Mayor’s Office and our City Departments. I look forward to seeing you soon.