2020-2021 Strategic Direction

Burlington Electric Department
2021–22 Strategic Direction


To serve the energy needs of our customers in a safe, reliable, affordable, sustainable, and socially responsible manner.


Safety, Reliability, Community, Innovation

2030 Vision

Make Burlington a Net Zero Energy city by eliminating fossil fuel usage across the electric, thermal, and ground transportation sectors by strategically electrifying, managing demand, realizing efficiency gains, and expanding local renewable generation while increasing system resilience.

Strategic Objectives

Engage Customers and Community

Focus on customer first-call resolution to provide exceptional customer care

Better educate and engage customers on our Net Zero Energy vision through all communications channels, with a focus on web and social media

Ensure all programs are equitable and accessible, with a priority given to low-to-moderate income, rental, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrant, and refugee populations

Evolve energy efficiency programs to drive deeper greenhouse gas emissions reductions, complement strategic electrification efforts, help manage peak demand, and improve community resilience and environmental health

Proactively seek customer input, including through new community ambassador program, and listen to and hear their needs and incorporate their input into program design

Strengthen Reliability

Maintain five-year Distribution System and Generation construction plans to accommodate potential load increases due to the Net Zero Energy goals, and design and construct projects to continue to improve safety, reliability, and efficiency

Continue to follow maintenance plans for McNeil Generating Station, Winooski One Hydro, Gas Turbine, and the Distribution System

Take steps to ensure reliable operations through staff succession planning

Ensure consistent fuel supply availability at McNeil based on annual operational strategy and procurement procedures

Implement Outage Management System (OMS) and grid analytics to improve response to system outages, system reliability, and efficiency

Invest in Our People, Processes, and Technology

Attract, develop, and retain a diverse workforce with the knowledge, skills, and ability to support BED’s Net Zero vision and strategic objectives

Develop a culture of integrity, safety, inclusion, innovation, teamwork, and continuous learning and improvement

Continually improve internal processes to design and deliver innovative programs and services, maximize operational efficiency and effectiveness, and optimize use of data to inform decision-making

Plan and invest in the technology infrastructure necessary to support BED’s mission, vision, and strategic priorities, including multi-year replacement of core business systems

Implement remote work flexibility, as permitted under City policy, to lead by example in reducing vehicle miles traveled and emissions

Innovate to Reach Net Zero Energy

Advance district energy, battery storage projects, and local renewable energy production, including customer-owned and community-based projects

Improve and expand automated demand response capability, with focus on EV charging and thermal, and implement appropriate end-use technologies to manage loads

Advance additional dynamic and creative rates to reach Net Zero Energy goal

Continue to track and report to the community on progress toward the Net Zero Energy Roadmap goal

Provide clean and affordable transportation fuel through renewable electricity, and invest in and encourage use of the necessary infrastructure to serve customers across all modes of transportation, including electric bikes, electric vehicles, and electric transit buses

Actively participate in City policy processes aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the ground transportation and building sectors

Build and maximize use of partnerships that provide unique value and opportunities to make progress toward Net Zero Energy at a more rapid pace and greater scale

Maintain and invest in quality facilities and use them to pilot and showcase new technologies that advance Net Zero Energy

Manage Budget and Risks Responsibly

Create financially responsible and sustainable budgets that balance the need for stable rates, investment in core infrastructure, and strong credit rating factors

Develop five-year debt financing plan for Net Zero Energy to support electrification while mitigating upward rate pressure

Ensure timely and diligent compliance with risk, safety, environmental, and other legal and regulatory standards

Efficiently and effectively manage procurement of goods and services

Enhance cybersecurity capabilities