- Vermont Senators this week gave preliminary approval to a bill which would require 55% of utility sales to come from renewable generation by 2017.
- The measure passed by a voice vote, but the Burlington Free Press said controversial amendments were expected including potentially pushing back the implementation date.
- As currently written, utilities would be required to develop plans to reduce fossil fuel use and would then submit those plans to the Vermont Public Service Board for approval.
The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a renewable energy standard which would require more than half of the energy sold by utilities to come from renewable sources. The voice vote followed action in the House earlier this year to approve a similar measure.
The legislation, H40, calls for renewable energy to make up 55% of each retail electricity provider’s annual retail electric sales during the year beginning on January 1, 2017, increasing by an additional 4% every three years until reaching 75% in 2032.
The program is called the Renewable Energy Standard and Energy Transformation (RESET), and would also encourage "the use of distributed generation to support the reliability of the state’s electric system; reduce line losses; contribute to avoiding or deferring improvements to that system necessitated by transmission or distribution constraints; and diversify the size and type of resources connected to that system."
Dylan Zwicky of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, told the Burlington Free Press that the legislation's focus on reducing fossil fuel use is "a truly innovative and forward-thinking aspect of the bill."
"We've done a lot of work to increase renewable electricity production in the state. The difficult nut to crack until this point has been carbon pollution from heating and transportation," Zwicky said.