Hartford Climate Action Plan

Agency: State Government of Vermont
State: Vermont
Type of Government: State & Local
NAICS Category:
  • 541611 - Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services
  • 541620 - Environmental Consulting Services
Posted Date: Jun 26, 2020
Due Date: Aug 31, 2020
Bid Source: Please Login to View Page
Contact information: Please Login to View Page
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Hartford Climate Action Plan Request Date: 6/26/2020 9:35:48 AM
Open Date:
Closing Date: 8/31/2020 4:00 PM
Intent To Bid Deadline:
Est. Dollar Value: $30,000.00
RFQ Number:

Town of Hartford

171 Bridge Street
White River Junction , VT 05001

Bid Type:
Request for Proposal

Consultant Services, Renewable Energy, Environmental Consultant Services

Bid Description:
This RFP is intended to identify the most qualified consultant to help the Town create a Climate Action Plan. Hartford recently passed a Joint Resolution Declaring a Climate Emergency, which commits the Town and the School District to developing a plan “that identifies action steps in response to the climate emergency and explains how progress will be tracked and measured”. Additionally, the voters approved a ballot initiative in March requiring the "development, operation, and maintenance of the Town of Hartford’s municipal infrastructure and equipment" achieve carbon neutrality by 2027. The Hartford Climate Action Plan is primarily intended to address the town-wide goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2030, and secondarily to achieve the carbon neutral municipal requirement.
Special Instructions:
Contact Information:
Geoff Martin
Phone: (802) 2959353 Ext. 223
Email: gmartin@hartford-vt.org
For additional information: https://hartford-vt.org/
Bid Attachments:
Hartford Climate Action Plan RFP FINAL.pdf
Site Visit: Date:

Attachment Preview

June 2020
ISSUANCE: June 24, 2020
RESPONSES DUE: August 31 at 4:00 PM (EST); Bid Opening to Follow
Contact: Geoff Martin, Energy Coordinator
Department of Planning and Development Services
Town of Hartford
171 Bridge Street
White River Junction, Vermont 05001
802-295-9353, ext. 223; gmartin@hartford-vt.org
The Town of Hartford, Vermont (“the Town”) is a community of around 10,000 residents. The Town has
been dedicated to climate and energy issues for many years, and its focus on these topics has become
increasingly strong in recent years. In 2007, Hartford became one of the first towns in the State of
Vermont to form an Energy Commission, dedicated to reducing energy consumption and increasing
Hartford’s share of renewable energy. Demonstrating its leadership on energy issues, the Town has,
among other things, completed energy audits of most of its facilities, contracted for close to 900 kW of
net-metered solar, renovated its Town Hall to be net-zero ready and entirely fossil-fuel-free, acquired an
electric vehicle for its vehicle fleet, and hired the first full-time, paid Energy Coordinator in the state.
In 2019 as part of a Town Plan update, the Town completely overhauled its Energy Chapter (Appendix
A) to create a plan to meet or exceed the State of Vermont’s energy goals and achieved a Determination
of Energy Compliance from the Two-Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC). The Town,
along with the Hartford Energy Commission (HEC), has begun implementing a number of the
recommendations outlined in the Energy Chapter, including creating a pilot program to evaluate the
impact of requiring net-zero new construction in Hartford, working with major employers in Hartford to
encourage carpooling and telecommuting, and developing a plan to weatherize all municipal buildings.
As noted above, the Energy Chapter lays out a plan to meet or exceed State goals. The Town recognizes,
however, that these goals are not aggressive enough to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.
Despite the Town’s leadership on climate and energy over the past decade, Hartford understands that
more fundamental and swift change will be needed to meet the urgency of the climate crisis.
As such, the Hartford Selectboard and School Board formed the Climate Advisory Committee (CAC) last
Fall to draft a climate emergency resolution, and to develop language for a ballot initiative designed to
Hartford Climate Action Plan RFP
June 2020
respond to the emergency. The Selectboard and School Board subsequently voted unanimously to pass
A Joint Resolution Declaring a Climate Emergency (“the Resolution”) included in Appendix B. By
declaring an emergency, the Resolution makes climate change a defining focus for Town planning,
funding, and action, and resolves the Town to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions town-
wide by 2030. The Resolution also demands that “Hartford’s response to the climate emergency be just
and equitable, especially with respect to the most vulnerable and impacted members of society.
Following the passage of the Resolution, the Selectboard voted to include the following question
(“Article 25”) on the ballot:
“Shall the development, operation, and maintenance of the Town of Hartford’s municipal infrastructure
and equipment be required to achieve carbon neutrality by 2027?”
This ballot initiative passed with 65% of the vote, requiring the Town to lead by example on the path to
net-zero Town-wide GHG emissions by 2030. The warrant article and related information are included in
Appendix C.
The CAC was then reconstituted as a standing committee charged with advising the Selectboard on
achieving the objectives of the Resolution and Article 25. See Appendix D for its full charge.
Hartford Climate Action Plan
This RFP is intended to identify the most qualified consultant to help the Town create a Climate Action
Plan. The Resolution commits the Town and the School District to developing a plan “that identifies
action steps in response to the climate emergency and explains how progress will be tracked and
measured. The Hartford Climate Action Plan is primarily intended to address the town-wide goal of
net-zero GHG emissions by 2030, and secondarily to achieve the carbon neutral municipal requirement.
The Selectboard has budgeted $30,000 for the creation of this plan.
RFP Timeline
Proposals Due
Interview Consultants
Consultant Selected
Contract Documents Completed
Consultant Begins
August 31, 2020, 4:00 PM
September 1 4, 2020
September 9, 2020
September 14, 2020
As Soon as Possible Thereafter
NOTE: The impact of COVID-19 on Town revenue will not be clear until late August. As such, proceeding
with proposal selection and award is subject to the Town’s assessment of its General Fund Revenue
position at the proposal due date.
Hartford Climate Action Plan RFP
June 2020
The Town recognizes that there are many pathways to achieving net-zero GHG emissions and
anticipates a plan that introduces a significant paradigm shift. Piecemeal changes to our existing systems
alone are unlikely to result in a sustainable and scalable way of life. In addition to achieving net-zero
GHG emissions by 2030, the Town seeks to establish a plan that aligns with the following guiding
1. The plan must take a holistic approach to achieve this goal. The plan must recognize and
minimize negative ecological and social consequences of recommended strategies and
actions. Considerations include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. ecological impact
b. social and economic justice in Hartford and beyond
2. The plan must guide Hartford to a way of life that balances ecological footprint with
biocapacity thereby providing an example for a sustainable and equitable existence.
3. The plan must take an approach that, if widely replicated, would not push the planet beyond
global warming tipping points (e.g. relying too heavily on carbon offsets, not addressing
4. The plan should emphasize quality of life over conventional economic measures (e.g. GDP).
Scope of Work
Hartford will need guidance on the best-suited policies, programs, and technologies necessary to
achieve the net-zero GHG emissions by 2030 goal while following the Guiding Principles above. The
successful consultant will develop a Hartford Climate Action Plan that will put Hartford on a path
towards its ambitious goal.
The ideal consultant is a systems thinker, is willing to react quickly to a rapidly changing global economy,
and thinks broadly about the Town’s options for achieving net-zero GHG emissions in order to develop
no-regret steps.(NOTE: No-regret steps are those that most closely adhere to the Guiding Principles
in Part II.)
The required Scope of Work includes the following:
Create an appropriate baseline for tracking relevant energy metrics across sectors in Hartford
Determine critical information for accounting and reporting of the Town’s GHG emissions,
including but not limited to setting an appropriate inventory boundary, reporting framework,
and GHG emissions calculation methodologies.
Calculate emissions by fuel type, source, and sector based on the determinations made in the
bullet above.
Determine what tracking mechanism would be used to monitor progress toward net-zero goal.
Analyze a business as usual (BAU) scenario under current policy through 2030
Take into account current trends in terms of economic growth, population growth, vehicle
travel, and new construction projects in Hartford, as well as the Town’s plans and programs (as
described in the Town Plan and Energy Chapter show at Appendix A), current Efficiency
Hartford Climate Action Plan RFP
June 2020
Vermont and Green Mountain Power programs and incentives, and relevant current state and
federal policies.
Determine key technologies and economic sensitivities that have a potential for significant
impact in BAU scenario (e.g. what impact the pricing of batteries might have on the Town’s
progress toward net-zero).
Determine what the BAU scenario achieves relative to net-zero goal.
Analyze and describe several pathways to net-zero
Quantify how each pathway aligns with the Guiding Principles described in Part II.
Identify existing barriers to each pathway to net-zero.
Consider potential policy and regulatory changes (regulation, incentives, disincentives) that
would facilitate these pathways.
Take into account technology acceleration, and changes in pricing and economics.
Consider the industries, old and new, that Hartford should make way for, as well as those that
Hartford should move away from, and the means by which Hartford should
encourage/discourage these industries that takes into account the Guiding Principles in Part II.
Consider the issue of stranded infrastructure costs for systems that would be rendered obsolete
by moving to net-zero, and the impacts to the community, and identify alternative uses.
Determine sensitivities in terms of price, technology, and policy that affect progress toward net-
zero in different sectors.
Consider options for carbon sequestration and storage, including not only climate-friendly forest
management and agricultural practices, but other practices/technologies.
The plan must include strategies and actions to mitigate climate change as well as to adapt
Hartford to climate change.
Cost/benefit analysis of each pathway
Articulate the cost of inaction.
Model the total costs and savings for Hartford residents and businesses across all sectors (e.g.
transportation, buildings, agriculture, public health, environmental/ecological health, etc.)
impacted by each pathway.
Suggest opportunities for making the case for federal aid to execute a just and equitable
transition for Hartford's workforce, currently affected by the pathway.
Describe co-benefits to the community.
Propose roadmap to achieve net-zero goal
Outline near term strategies that achieve greatest benefits relative to cost, and represent “no
regrets” steps toward net-zero goal regardless of sensitivities.
Hartford Climate Action Plan RFP
June 2020
Outline a preferred pathway from the pathways analysis to achieve the long-term goal of net-
Identify which stakeholders are critical to achieving the net-zero goal and what their role could
be in achieving the goal, including but not limited to Town staff, the HEC, the CAC, community
organizations, residents, and businesses.
Consider pathways that would foster regional collaboration. possibilities for the greater Upper
Valley community.
Prescribe specific, actionable policy recommendations.
Suggest free or low-cost ways to help with plan implementation.
Outline additional policy tools that may be required at Town or State level, and if necessary
Federal level, to overcome any barriers to the preferred pathway to achieve net-zero.
Recommend strategies to maximize community engagement
Recommend a strategy for engaging and informing the community of the urgency and details of
the Resolution and Action Plan, including through social and digital media, local print media, and
sympathetic groups (churches, schools, etc.); and
Identify grassroots actions that could be taken by local organizations (employers enacting
telecommuting policies, local food growers, school groups, neighborhood groups, etc.).
Evaluation of Pathways
Due Date
Outline of Hartford Climate Action
First Complete Draft of Plan
Final Plan
No later than
No later than
Deliver a presentation for the Selectboard and the
public detailing the BAU scenario and potential
pathways to achieving the goal. Identify a
recommended pathway.
NOTE: This presentation is intended to inform, and
get buy in from, the Selectboard and public.
Provide a detailed overview of the CAP to be provided
to CAC for evaluation and feedback.
Complete a first draft with special attention paid to
priorities that the Town should consider when
developing a budget for FY 22.
Deliver a presentation summarizing the completed
CAP. The audience will again be CAC, SB, and public.
Consultant may propose additional deliverables as they see fit;
The date of the completion of the first draft of the CAP is a firm deadline. Other dates are
flexible within reason to accommodate consultants’ schedules. Priority will be given to
consultants that can meet the 12/16/2020 deadline for the final product;
Hartford Climate Action Plan RFP

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