Act 250 Energy Review

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Commercial/Industrial Residential


Criterion 9(F) of Act 250 requires that a subdivision or development uses the best available technology for energy efficiency. The Public Service Department reviews Act 250 applications to verify that each meets this criterion. Resources may be found below.


Commercial & Industrial

2001 Vermont Guidelines for Energy Efficient Commercial Construction

These commercial building energy standards update and supersede the 1998 Vermont Consolidated Act 250 Energy Guidelines for Typical C&I Buildings. The 2001 Guidelines provide a set of minimum performance standards for Vermont which provide Act 250 applicants with a consistent reference document to facilitate the review of energy components commonly found in commercial construction projects throughout the state.

1998 Consolidated Act 250 Commercial and Industrial Guidelines

These guidelines (see link below) are the 1998 consolidated energy guidelines for typical commercial and industrial buildings in Vermont.

The Vermont Consolidated Act 250 Energy Guidelines for Typical Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Buildings were developed jointly with many of the state's electric and natural gas utilities to assist Act 250 applicants comply with Criteria 9(F) and 9(J) of Act 250, Vermont's Land Use and Development Law. The Guidelines are designed to provide Act 250 applicants with a simple and consistent reference document to facilitate the review of the energy components commonly found in C&I new construction projects throughout the state.

The C&I Guidelines combine the new construction minimum performance standards offered by a variety of utility demand side management (DSM) programs into a single statewide compliance tool for meeting the "best available technology" provision of criterion 9(F). The Guidelines may be used by applicants to address typical energy efficiency components of proposed new buildings by establishing simple minimum performance levels on a prescriptive basis. For relatively simple buildings, the prescriptive levels may address most, if not all, aspects of a building's energy consuming systems. For larger, more complicated projects, the Guidelines establish a foundation upon which custom building designs and technologies can be analyzed on a life cycle cost basis. For all C&I new construction projects, throughout the state, the Guidelines can expedite Act 250 review and approval in a simplified, consistent and predictable manner.

If you have any comments or questions about the contents and/or use of the Guidelines, Contact the PSD. Please make sure to including "energy efficiency" in the subject matter of any email. Individuals may also contact the utility representatives listed on the third page of the Guidelines.

1993 Act 250 Commercial-Industrial Construction Handout
Vermont Public Service Department, Act 250 Commercial/Industrial Construction, Energy Criterion 9(F), Energy Conservation: Energy Measures to be Addressed, August 1992

*Make sure you also check out the updated (September, 1998) Act 250 Commercial and Industrial Guidelines above.

The Public Service Department (PSD) participates in the interagency review of Act 250 applications with regard to Environmental Board Criteria 9(F) Energy Conservation and 9(J) Public Utility Services. Criterion 9(F) Energy states: "...the planning and design of the subdivision or development reflect the principles of energy conservation and incorporate the best available technology for efficient use or recovery of energy...". The PSD interprets "best available technology" to mean that option which results in either the least energy use or has the lowest life cycle cost.

The following is an outline of measures that the PSD recommends be addressed in order to assist the PSD in the review process and to assure that the proposed development reflects the best available technology for efficient use, generation, conservation and recovery of energy. Also include analyses of measures not recommended. Please state if a measure is not applicable. These issues should be addressed for both common and individual tenant spaces:

  1. List site related design considerations proposed to influence energy use, including building orientation, protective vegetation and solar access.
  2. Provide calculations and plans for proposed insulation levels in the roofs/ceilings, exterior walls, foundations and percent fenestration.
  3. State the interior design temperatures.
  4. Provide specifications for the energy management system, including time-of-day scheduling, holiday scheduling, start/stop optimization, daylighting, multiple temperature setbacks, humidity controls, variable air volume control, variable speed motor control, load shedding, duty cycling and demand limiting.
  5. Calculate the anticipated connected electrical load and annual energy consumption.
  6. Calculate the anticipated winter and summer season peak loads.
  7. Provide specifications for electric motors including efficiency, power factor and use of variable speed drives.
  8. Provide plans and specifications for interior and exterior lighting systems and controls, including lamp type, wattage, ballasts, watts per sq. ft. and pole height.
  9. Provide plans and specifications for HVAC systems, including AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency), EER (energy efficiency rating), cfm ventilation rate, economizer operation on AC units and use of outside make up air.
  10. Provide plans and specifications for heat recovery systems which address ventilation, refrigeration or other potential sources.
  11. Provide plans and specifications for refrigeration equipment, including COP (coefficient of performance).
  12. Provide plans and specifications for hot water heating systems, including E.F. (energy factor) and use of heat reclamation from refrigeration systems, if appropriate.
  13. Provide plans and specifications for windows/doors/air lock entries.
  14. Describe drying and cooking equipment including fuel type proposed and energy efficiency design options explored in kitchen design.
  15. Describe energy efficiency consideration in any proposed loading docks/overhead doors.
  16. Certify that there will be no use of electricity as heat source for space or hot water heating, including any backup systems, or demonstrate the necessity of such systems.
  17. Provide a tenant clause to be included in any lease agreement binding tenants to all measures addressed in the permit.

The PSD reserves the right to review plans again after the schematic design phase when specific equipment and appliances are specified.

Calculations, blueprints, life cycle cost analysis or cutsheets describing the above measures, as well as a review meeting with architect/design engineers can significantly effect the time required for a review. Inclusion of such supporting documentation as well as a meeting are strongly encouraged.

To Contact the PSD regarding any of these items, please be sure to include the words "energy efficiency" in the subject line of an email, and your name, address, phone number and email address in the body of the message.

Building Life Cycle Cost (BLCC) Software

The Building Life Cycle Cost (BLCC) Software helps analyze investments in energy-consuming equipment and building systems. For more information, please go to the Building Life Cycle Cost (BLCC) Software Page.



For information regarding Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES) and how energy efficiency in new construction can dramatically lower a building's energy cost over its lifetime, see the Residential Building Energy Standards Page.