In the summer of 2008, heating oil reached nearly $4.50 per gallon. Energy costs across the 1,600 apartments owned by the nonprofit Housing Vermont doubled as that year’s spending on fuel hit $2.5 million. Housing Vermont tried to shield their tenants from the spike, but renters still saw their fuel costs go up by almost 10 percent. Something needed to be done in order to protect renters with low incomes from volatile fuel prices. This was the beginning of what came to be known as the Parsons Platform.