A Vermont Survey Should Impact Your State's Electrification Policies

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Small State, Big Impact.

A recent survey (10/3/23) of 700 Vermonters, entitled Vermont Weighs In: Public Opinion on Renewable Electricity, should have wide-ranging implications in Vermont and other states (like New York and Massachusetts) that are considering aggressive electrification policies. Why? Because the results show that there are disconnects between what residents see as the most important considerations to them versus actual and proposed legislative action when it comes to renewable energy policies. 

The material was based upon work supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which is a pretty cool acronym to have around Halloween.

Reliability and Affordability Are Most Important.

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It’s no surprise that Vermont consistently ranks among the most progressive states in the country. What is surprising is that the top 4 considerations all ranked above “reducing carbon emissions that cause climate change.”

It’s not that folks don’t care about carbon emissions and climate change. But having a reliable source of energy that’s affordable, doesn’t adversely impact the environment, and supports jobs and economic development within the state is of more importance to them. While you were reading that last sentence I’ll bet you were thinking that "propane checks all of those boxes!"

Some Pies Need Scrutiny.

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The question was: “Switching to renewable or low-carbon electricity might cost more. How much more would you be willing to pay for electricity if it meant that all Vermont’s power came from renewable or low-carbon sources?"

Note that 31% (red section) said they would pay nothing more and 24% (light blue) said they would only pay $1 to $25 more per month. So the majority (55%) would pay nothing more, or very little more, for renewable energy sources.

This doesn’t mean that folks don’t want fossil-free fuels if they’re cleaner than conventional fuels. But whether it’s renewable electricity or renewable propane, they don’t want to pay much more for it.

Things Most Vermonters Don’t Have. 

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I think this chart is eye-opening. Most Vermonters don’t have an electric car, hybrid car, heat pumps, or solar panels. It highlights the disconnect between how most people live their lives and how some state legislators think people should live their lives.   

What’s Happening With Propane Prices?

Belvieu prices ($.72/gallon) have crawled back up to where they began the month.

In the bigger picture, there’s no question that there is plenty of propane out there. But it is priced to sell. What’s also interesting is that the future market is in slight contango through December which tells us that while storage levels are high, they’re not unmanageable.

Propane Price Chart

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Weekly Inventory Numbers

Small draws in the Midwest and Gulf Coast were offset by a larger build on the East Coast which allowed total U.S. propane inventories to build by .8 mmbbls. for the week ending October 13, 2023, slightly above industry expectations. This brings national inventory levels to 102.32 mmbbls., about 19 percent above last year and 18 percent above the 5-year average.

PADD 1 (East Coast) inventories had a substantial build of 1.05 mmbbls. They presently stand at 9.5 mmbbls. about 10 percent above last year. I believe this matches the previous highest inventory level on the East Coast which was on October 2, 2020.

PADD 2 (Midwest/Conway) inventories had a minimal draw of .28 mmbbls. They currently stand at 27.70 mmbbls., about 13 percent higher than ‚Äčlast year.

PADD 3 (Gulf Coast/Belvieu) inventories had a negligible draw of .09 mmbbls. They now stand at 59.18 mmbbls., roughly 25 percent ahead of last year.

The Skinny

Ray Energy was the first company to bring renewable propane to the Northeast. We understand that renewable propane helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But we are also in touch with the real issues that most people face every day. That’s why we offer a 5% renewable propane blend that’s reliable, affordable, doesn’t adversely impact the environment, and supports jobs and economic development for thousands of people within the broader community.    


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NOTE: The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, unless attributed to a third-party source, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ray Energy Corp, its affiliates, or its employees. The information set forth herein has been obtained or derived from sources believed by the author to be reliable. However, the author does not make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the information’s accuracy or completeness, nor does the author recommend that the attached information serve as the basis of any buying decision and it has been provided to you solely for informational purposes.
 
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