Gilbert: The clear benefits of natural gas

Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Don Gilbert, the president and CEO of Vermont Gas.

Vermonters want a more affordable, clean and safe energy choice.

Residents, employers, community leaders and policymakers have asked Vermont Gas to expand our natural gas system to serve more Vermonters. They want the benefits of natural gas service – significantly lower energy costs, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and renewed economic development and job creation opportunities.

At Vermont Gas, our team of more than 120 Vermonters is proud to deliver high-quality, cost-effective energy services in the communities where we live and work. Thanks to an increase in production, natural gas prices continue to remain lower than other energy sources. However, Vermonters still pay more for energy than in most other parts of the country. This increases our cost of living, and it puts our employers at a disadvantage as they compete in regional, national and international markets.

Homeowners like the idea of saving $1,400 to $2,000 every year on their energy bills (versus fuel oil and propane) while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent.

We’re working closely with residents and community leaders to build a natural gas system for Addison County, and eventually, Rutland. A crucial part of the Addison Natural Gas Project is extending service to our regionally important neighbor, the International Paper facility in Ticonderoga. The paper mill is closely tied to Vermont’s economy and environment, and providing natural gas service furthers our efforts to deliver the economic and environmental advantages of natural gas to Vermonters.

Homeowners like the idea of saving $1,400 to $2,000 every year on their energy bills (versus fuel oil and propane) while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent. To put savings for employers in perspective, the farmers of Cabot estimate that they will save up to $3 million in annual energy costs at their facility in Middlebury. And our award-winning energy efficiency programs can further cut energy use, saving residents and employers even more.

Employers need access to our state-of-the-art distribution system that provides a more affordable, cleaner energy source to help them attract and retain the talent Vermont’s economy needs. These businesses, and their employees, contribute heavily to the success of our communities, and natural gas service can help to ensure we are economically secure and prosperous.

A more affordable, cleaner and safe energy choice – delivered directly to Vermonters. It’s good for Vermont families, good for Vermont employers, and good for Vermont communities. You can learn more about the project and share your thoughts at

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  • sandra bettis

    this is like the opinion pieces written by employees of vt yankee – a little one sided. and they leave out the fact that natural gas comes from….fracking!

    • Steve Comeau

      Is petroleum extraction really any better? Would fuel from tar sands be an improvement?

      A good and reasonable opinion piece.

      • sandra bettis

        no, neither of those are viable – i was think RENEWABLE energy….

        • Greg Hamill

          Whats wrong with fracking the Enviro Nuts must have eaten your brain allready. The Finger Lakkes region has had Natural gas fracked vertical wells for 30 years now with no problems, Pa where I live has close to 4000 wells currently producing with very little trouble. I dont get it, we finally have a energy allternative that is good for our people and economy and folks like you Sandra what every one else to think it is the end of the world. Thank God there are men out there every day drilling and provideing the energy this country needs to keep us going. You seem big on bitching but have probably never done an honest days work in your life.

          • sandra bettis

            you know, blowing poison in the earth is indeed a fabulous alternative and i don’t know why i didn’t think of it myself!

  • Katharine Hikel, MD

    Mr. Gilbert is full of gas; he is in denial about the very significant public health consequences of methane. I hope that by now he has resigned from the Board of Trustess of FAHC, where he heads the Compensation Committee, which decides the inflated salaries of the hospital chiefs who now purchase $1.9 million worth of his product with our health care dollars. Here’s the real story: