Community Renewable Energy Deployment: City of Montpelier Project

From Open Energy Information


This case study describes Montpelier, Vermont's efforts under the Department of Energy's Community Renewable Energy Deployment (CommRE) grant program. The city is taking a multi-faceted approach to reducing energy consumption.  First, Montpelier is developing a combined heat and power (CHP) district energy system, which will be powered using renewable biomass energy in the form of local, sustainably harvested wood chips.  The CHP facility will initially provide heat to a state building complex but will also have the capacity for future connection of commercial and privately owned buildings. As buildings are connected to the system, Montpelier will identify energy-saving measures that will help to ensure that this energy is used efficiently. Finally, the city is identifying and implementing financing mechanisms to enable home owners to retrofit residential buildings for greater energy efficiency and renewable energy consumption. This project highlights a community that has evaluated its options and begun the process of developing, financing, and implementing a project.  Montpelier used an outside consulter, Veolia Distric Energy, to determine the feasibility of the project, and options for the city.  The case study also includes documentation of getting community involvement and feedback for the implementation of the project. Montpelier includes documentation of its process for developing, financing, and implementing the project on its website,

Community Information
Name Montpelier, Vermont
Type City
Population 7,705[2]
Community Energy Goals The City of Montpelier pursues a biomass district energy CHP

(combined heat and power) facility in downtown to serve downtown residents, municipal buildings, and the capitol complex. By 2015, 1,000 Montpelier homes will be weatherized and 1,000 Montpelier homes switch to a carbon neutral  fuel source.  By 2030, total non-renewable energy consumption per capita is reduced 20 percent of 2004 use. By 2013, Montpelier achieves a 50,000 ton annual reduction in GHG emissions; by 2030, Montpelier achieves a city-wide 80% reduction in GHG emissions. By 2040, use of low-impact renewable energy increases by 30% as a percentage of total energy use. By 2040, all new and retro-fitted developments, buildings, vehicles, and equipment are municipal within five percent of the highest energy-efficient design available out of all economically competitive products, as measured on a life cycle basis. Source:  P. 129-P.131

Baseline 85,437 MWh electricity (2004)
Results to Date All updates and the project timeline are given on this page of the city's website for this project specifically:


The specific documents provided by Montpelier could serve templates for cities considering their own combined heat and power facility. This case study is particularly applicable to communities like Montpelier in which buildings are clustered near each other, making the feasibility of a combined heat and power plant much more realistic than it may be for other cities.

Environmental Aspects

1) The City of Montpelier's project goals include have 50% of homes implement deep energy retrofits, 50% of the buildings in downtown will have undergone energy retrofits and use the CHP plant being installed by 2015.  The greenhouse gas emission reduction of 50,000 tons from the instillation of the CHP facility. 2) Quantitative performance metrics will be updated and provided  at the following website:


  1.  "Community Renewable Energy Deployment: City of Montpelier Project"
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