- Vermont legislators will consider a measure to stop utilities from getting credit both for developing solar or wind projects and also for the renewable credits received from out-of-state sales.
- The proposal would also give utilities renewable credits for reducing fossil fuel use in homes.
- The proposals build on Gov. Peter Shumlin's (D) clean energy agenda, which calls for emissions reductions, savings to ratepayers and creation of 1,000 new jobs in the industry.
The Burlington Free Press reports Vermont legislators will consider a proposal to alter the state's renewable portfolio standards, enacting rules encouraging utilities to use their renewable power in-state rather than selling it for credits. The law would stop utilities from essentially getting credit twice, both for developing renewable projects and then selling the power for renewable credits.
The law, which will begin in the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, builds on clean energy goals Gov. Shumlin outlined earlier this month.
"No one knows better than Vermonters how to turn a challenging adversity like climate change into opportunity,” Shumlin said in his inaugural address. “Just look at our burgeoning green energy industry. Through Vermont innovation and collaboration, partnered with creative public policy and regulation, we are pioneering the development and deployment of locally generated, low carbon energy, creating jobs and putting money in Vermonter’s pockets while we do it.”
Shumlin went on to propose the Energy Innovation Program, which would create more than 1,000 new jobs, save citizens hundreds of millions on energy bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 15 million metric tons — nearly a quarter of the reduction needed for Vermont to be on track to meet its 2050 climate goal.
The EIP would also prioritize community-scale renewable projects to add hundreds of megawatts of new local energy generation to Vermont’s electric portfolio over the course of the program, including new projects that qualify for net metering or the standard offer program.
The program will also set incentives for utilities to help customers save money and cut fossil fuel use through energy innovation projects, including projects where utilities provide leasing or on-bill financing options to help customers do deeper efficiency improvements, or install cold-climate heat pumps, solar water heating and geothermal or biomass heating.
Renewable Energy Vermont praised the speech, saying the state's renewable industry "is strongly encouraged by the Governor’s remarks today in support of growing renewable energy jobs here in Vermont while addressing climate change. ... REV is looking forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature in the months ahead to continue our momentum in our Green Mountain State.”