MONTPELIER — Pay a little to save a lot. That was the theory more than a decade ago when Vermont began taxing electric bills to pay for a statewide energy efficiency program that’s widely regarded as a big success.
Now, there’s a push to apply the same principle to home heating.
But the idea of taxing heating oil and other petroleum-based fuels to pay for tightening buildings to reduce the use of them is drawing opposition from business groups and wariness from many lawmakers.
A recent report from a task force assembled by the Department of Public Service estimated that to raise $30 million for expanded weatherization, programs would mean a tax on oil of about 12 cents per gallon.
But advocates say the savings for consumers could be much larger.
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