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Climate Economy Model Communities Program

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The Vermont Climate Economy Model Communities Program is designed to help communities build and implement priority actions that increase economic vitality and affordability in a time of climate change. The ultimate goal is to help communities model rapid change by implementing energy efficiency, transportation system transformation, renewable energy generation, working lands development, and entrepreneurship and business incubation to spur economic progress. The Model Communities Program is a partnership including Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), Efficiency Vermont, Vermont utilities, and other partners. The Program provides concentrated services with two communities annually to model effective change at a rapid rate.

Apply now to participate in this program for 2018. A new RFP has been released and can be viewed and downloaded by clicking here. If you need a Microsoft Word version, click here. You can read a press release announcing the new RFP here. The deadline for applications is December 18, 2017.

Pownal and the greater Middlebury area were selected as the first two communities to participate in the program. Click here to read press reports from the ongoing process in each of these communities.

For those interested in learning more about the program, here are a few resources:

  • A one-page information sheet about the program can be seen here.
  • Two diagrams outlining the timeline for the application process and the 2018 calendar for the program can be seen here. 
  • A Frequently-Asked-Questions document from the first application period in spring 2017 can be viewed by clicking here. Stay tuned for an updated version.
  • A webinar was hosted during the spring 2017 application period to provide an overview of the program can be viewed on youtube by clicking here. To view the Powerpoint presentation used for the webinar, click here. 

We welcome inquiries from communities interested in participating and organizations interested in partnering on this initiative. Please contact Jon Copans at or (802) 225-6393 with any questions. 

Thank you to VLITE, the High Meadows Fund, the Sustainable Future Foundation of the Vermont Community Foundation, the Bay and Paul Foundations, the Oakland Foundation, and VCRD’s members for supporting the Model Communities Program.