Posted on September 14, 2018

Misses opportunity for faster charging stations

“Transportation is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Vermont and passenger vehicle use makes up the largest share of those emissions,” said Governor Scott. “Increasing the use of electric vehicles is a critical strategy for Vermont to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and to achieve its goal of 90 percent renewable energy use by 2050. This new grant program will help expedite Vermont’s transition to cleaner forms of transportation.”

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Posted on February 12, 2018

At its January meeting, the Transportation Task Force of Middlebury prioritized a list of action steps to improve transit ridership and bike infrastructure, launch a bike/bus arts campaign and ensure the new train station is connected to other transportation modes. The task force is sponsored by the Vermont Council on Rural Development, Middlebury officials, and resource partners, with a mission to grow the climate economy by building a more robust public transportation network including ridesharing, biking, and walking in the greater Middlebury area.

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The 2017 Way to Go! School Challenge Results

Posted on December 14, 2017

We’re excited to announce that 9,371 students, faculty and staff participated in the Challenge from 48 schools across the state. That’s a 23% increase in school participation from last year! Thirty-eight schools achieved at least a 50% participation rate to be eligible to win this year’s big prize — an AllEarth Renewables Solar Tracker.

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Montpelier Advances to Final Round in National Competition

Posted on November 22, 2017

The Georgetown University Energy Prize recognizes top performing communities for increasing energy efficiency, reducing municipal and household energy budgets.


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Posted on October 5, 2017

Deb Sachs was the moderator at the Renewable Energy Vermont Conference, October 2, 2017.

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NZV Project-Partner Way To Go! Recognized 

Posted on October 5, 2017

We are thrilled that the Way to Go! Challenge was recognized as a 'Renewable Energy Innovator' by Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) at the REV2017 conference this month. Reducing carbon pollution from transportation sources is a key strategy for achieving our goals.

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Net Zero Event: Team Bridges - Rethinking Montpelier and Beyond

Posted on September 26, 2017

A discussion hosted by the Gund Institute for Environment at UVM and Net Zero Vermont will explore sustainable urban planning, design, energy and public engagement to advance Montpelier's efforts to go "Net Zero" by 2030, and to forge closer ties between regional stakeholders. 

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Posted on September 8, 2017

Dan Jones formed the Sustainable Montpelier Coalition (SMC) to carry forward the local momentum from the Sustainable Montpelier 2030 design competition. This new not-for-profit organization aims to be “a catalyst” — to be the bridge between the public and private organizations in town.

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Posted on September 8, 2017

Trish Sears

_pmsears headshot_.jpg.jpegTrish is Director, Co-Founder, President & CEO of Northeast Kingdom Tamarack, Inc. (NEKTI) Consulting. NEKTI specializes in forming strategic partnerships to leverage funding and other resources and in representing corporations, projects, programs and organizations to donors, state, the U.S. and foreign governments, multilateral organizations, and the media. Trish is a member of the board of directors of the Gilman Housing Trust, president and chair of AARP Vermont Executive Council, and publisher of Newport Daily Express (NDE), which serves 25 communities in the Kingdom: Albany, Barton, Beebe, Brighton, Brownington, Charleston, Coventry, Craftsbury, Derby, Derby Line, Evansville, Glover, Greensboro, Holland, Irasburg, Jay, Lowell, Morgan, Newport City, Newport Town, North Troy, Orleans, Troy, Westfield and Westmore.

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Posted on August 22, 2017

The 2017 Way To Go! School Challenge is back! All K–12 schools in Vermont are encouraged to get on board to battle carbon pollution.

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Budd RDC's make a stop in Montpelier and Barre

Posted on August 15, 2017

The Budd RDC passenger cars stop in Montpelier and Barre before heading to their new temporary home in Websterville, Vermont.

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From renewables to rails: David Blittersdorf & Deb Sachs

Posted on August 4, 2017

The Vermont Conversation with David Goodman

Debra Sachs is co-founder and executive director of Net Zero Vermont, which promotes carbon neutral solutions for communities, including Montpelier. David Blittersdorf and Sachs talk about their work to move to a sustainable future and the promise and controversies around the expansion of renewable energy. (July 26, 2017 broadcast)

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Rail boosters celebrate progress toward expanded service

Posted on August 3, 2017
BURLINGTON — Railroad officials and advocates on Wednesday praised state lawmakers’ efforts to expand passenger service in Vermont.

Northern Vermont is on the cusp of implementing two significant rail expansions: restoring passenger service to downtown Burlington, and extending Amtrak’s Vermonter line to Montreal.

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Posted on August 2, 2017

Vermont's Seven Days newspaper reports on aspirations to bring commuter rail to Vermont. Mentioned in the story is the support for more passenger rail expressed during the SUSTAINABLE MONTPELIER 2030 Design Competition

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Elizabeth courtnery commentary on vtdigger

Posted on March 9, 2017

We thank Elizabeth Courtney for her eloquent commentary published by VtDigger. Elizabeth highlights the challenges to building a sustainable Montpelier and the "potential to become a positive and uplifting model for the nation."

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And the winner is...

Posted on January 23, 2017


We announced the winning design team, “Team Bridges,” a collaboration of 12 professionals from 10 companies and organizations. The announcement was made at a Statehouse news conference by Net Zero Vermont Co-CEOs Deb Sachs and Dan Jones.

About Team Bridges

Team Bridges is a purposeful blend of 12 professionals from 10 companies and organizations:

  • Roger Allbee, Former Secretary. Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Montpelier, VT
  • Jay Ancel, Partner, Black River Design Architects, Montpelier, VT
  • Vincent Appel, Of Possible Architectures (OPA). Brooklyn, New York
  • Douglas Cooper, Andrew Mellon Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Stefani Danes, Architect and Adjunct Professor, School of Architecture, Research Fellow,
  • Remaking Cities Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Archie Kasnet, Altenex, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Ethan Lay-Sleeper, Sasaki, Watertown, MA
  • Ken Millman. Sp!ke Advertising, Alburgh, VT
  • Michael Rushman, Land Strategies, Cabot, Vermont (Team Bridges contact.)
  • Janet Van Fleet, Studio Place Arts (SPA), Barre, Vermont
  • Robert White, GPI / Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., Portsmouth, NH

The winning design team is the result of a selection process that started in October with votes by more than 650 Montpelier residents, workers, and visitors at a pop-up Main Street gallery and online, along with a review by a technical committee to select five finalists. In January, live presentations by the five finalists were followed by a second round of voting with nearly seven hundred ballots and extended comments submitted. The $10,000 winner’s prize in the Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition is sponsored by NetZero Vermont with seed funding from five sponsors: AllEarth Renewables, Ben & Jerry’s, Vermont Creamery, National Life Group, and VSECU.

See Team Bridges winning design entry here.

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January 7 Team Presentations For Design Competition

Posted on December 16, 2016

vermont state house with big crowd

Net Zero Vermont Inc. is proud to announce we will be hosting public presentations by the top five finalist teams for the Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition on Saturday, January 7, 2017 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the Pavilion Building Auditorium. Seating is limited and advance registration is encouraged for this free event.

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Finalists Announced For Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition

Posted on October 12, 2016

We’re pleased to announce the finalists for the Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition. After votes by Montpelier residents, workers, and visitors at our Main Street gallery and online, along with a review by a technical committee, the twenty entries showcased have been pared down to five finalists. “In my many years offering technical reviews and serving on juries for design competitions around the world, I have never experienced this kind of public response and engagement. It is heartening to see this level of interest, and I’m honored to be part of this exciting project”, said Valerie Fletcher of the Boston based Institute for Human Centered Design, and a member of the technical review panel.

Finalists Announced For Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition About the Team Finalists Announced For Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition About the Team Finalists Announced For Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition About the Team Finalists Announced For Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition About the Team Finalists Announced For Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition About the Team
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Technical Review Panel Announced

Posted on September 30, 2016

Announcing the Technical Review Panel for the SUSTAINABLE MONTPELIER 2030 Design Competition.An expert panel comprised of professional architects, engineers, planners, and developers will choose the finalist to receive the $10,000 prize. The panel of 7 will review the design competition top entries against contest goals and feasibility. Each of the panelist contributes their own expertise and experience to create a balance committee focusing on energy, transportation, planning, architecture, and economic development with the goal of creating a sustainable community.

Technical Review Panel Announced

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Voting Begins for Montpelier 2030 Design Competition

Posted on September 27, 2016

MONTPELIER, VT – Public voting begins for the Net Zero Vermont Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition.  Montpelier’s residents, workers, and visitors will be able to vote for their top five concepts starting Monday, October 3rd at 10:00 a.m. for the future of Vermont’s capitol from among 26 entries received from around the world.

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Montpelier 2030 Design Competition Draws International Interest

Posted on September 19, 2016

MONTPELIER, VT – Net Zero Vermont, Inc., is excited to announce that 27 design teams from around the world have entered the Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition. In addition to 13 Vermont design teams, entrants include firms from Sweden, Japan, Hong Kong, Iran, Canada, and California.

Montpelier residents, workers, and visitors are invited to review the design concepts and vote for their choices from October 3-5 in a pop-up gallery space at 62 Main Street, and online.

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Comment and Guest Post Guidelines

Posted on September 5, 2016


We’re glad to have you here! In a continued effort to engage the community, Net Zero Vermont encourages readers to comment on blog posts and news stories. The following guidelines are meant to encourage relevant, meaningful conversations about the future of Montpelier, Vermont.



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VSECU features Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition

Posted on August 29, 2016

Our very own Dan Jones, co-Executive Director and Project Manager of Net Zero Vermont, wrote this blog post featured by VSECU. Here he explores how the Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition seeks to inspire lasting climate change.

Imagine a Better, More Sustainable, More Fun, Future Imagine a Better, More Sustainable, More Fun, FutureAre you worried that climate change will bring unforeseen trouble into your and your children’s lives? If so, you aren’t alone, and all hope is not lost.


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Featured on VPR

Posted on August 20, 2016

On the morning of August 20th, 2016, Vermont Public Radio ran a story on our Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition. Check out their article and the audio for their show.

A Montpelier Nonprofit Looks To Change The City's Car Culture A Montpelier Nonprofit Looks To Change The City’s Car Culture | Vermont Public RadioThe City of Montpelier has set a goal to become the country’s first net zero capital city, and a new nonprofit plans to take on what it calls the biggest challenges.


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Times Argus Op Ed

Posted on July 24, 2016

This Times Argus Op Ed examines the impact of cars as contributors to climate change, and how Net Zero Vermont seeks to reclaim the environmentally unsustainable parking lots that have resulted.

Times Argus Op Ed Imagining a sustainable future  : Times Argus OnlineJust a few days ago, Net Zero Vermont announced an engagement effort to help Montpelier reach its laudable goal of making Montpelier carbon-free by 2030.


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Burlington Free Press Story

Posted on July 13, 2016

The Burlington Free Press wrote a great article about the announcement of our design competition. Check it out, we feel they did a good job summarizing our initiative.

VT group offers $10K prize for city re-design VT group offers $10K prize for city re-designA hefty prize awaits the winning design for transforming Montpelier’s downtown parking lots into a showcase of urban living, an environmental group announced Wednesday.


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