Renewables

Comprehensive Review of Vermont’s Renewable & Clean Electricity Policy and Programs 

The Vermont Department of Public Service is initiating a comprehensive review of Vermont’s renewable & clean electricity policies and programs. 

Comprehensive Energy Plan

The Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) sets out a pathway for Vermont to obtain 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. This ambitious goal calls on all citizens to take actions that will collectively transform the way we use and produce energy in our electric, transportation, and heating sectors. Some of the main policies and incentives available to Vermonters that will help effect this transformation are highlighted below. For an in-depth look at the CEP's goals and recommendations, please review the 2022 Comprehensive Energy Plan.

Renewable Energy Standard

Beginning in 2017 the Vermont Renewable Energy Standard (RES) required utilities to meet certain goals. Specifically, by 2032, to:

  • Meet 75% of sales with renewable energy (55% in 2017, 59% in 2020)
  • Meet 10% of sales with distributed generation (1% in 2017, 2.2% in 2020)
  • Meet 12% of sales with "energy transformation projects" (2% in 2017, 4% in 2020)*

*Municipal electric utilities having not more than 6,000 customers have different targets (2.67% in 2020; 10.67% by 2032)

Climate Action Plan

Vermont and the world are facing the impacts of climate change and it’s time to act. The initial Vermont Climate Action Plan, released on December 1, 2021, outlines steps to cut climate pollution and help Vermonters prepare for extreme weather and other impacts caused by climate change.

The Legislature established the Vermont Climate Council to draft the plan. As they drafted the plan, the Climate Council incorporated ideas and feedback from a wide range of Vermonters.

The initial Vermont Climate Action Plan is a first step in climate action and will be updated at least every four years. The plan includes an implementation section for legislators and other state-level stakeholders to inform decision-making.

Net-Metering

The net-metering program, which was established in 1999, is only one of several programs available for developing solar and other types of renewable energy in Vermont. Customers who participate in the net-metering program can offset their electric bills through financial incentives based on the amount of electricity generated by their net-metering systems

The Vermont Public Utilities Commission manages the net-metering program. For complete information on the program visit their net-metering website:

https://puc.vermont.gov/electric/net-metering

Clean Energy Development Fund

The purpose of CEDF is to increase in Vermont the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power resources, primarily with respect to renewable energy resources, and the use of combined heat and power technologies. Additional information on CEDF can be found on the CEDF page.

Siting Generation Projects

Any electric generation facility must receive a Certificate of Public Good from the Public Utility Commission (PUC) before site preparation or construction can begin on that facility.   

Section 248 of Title 30 sets forth the land use, economic, and engineering criteria that the PUC uses to review projects. Depending on the size and type of project, however, the criteria that are reviewed and the process for review can vary considerably.

Standard Offer

In 2009 Vermont created one of the first standard price offerings for renewables in the nation, as part of the state's Sustainably Priced Energy for Economic Development (SPEED) program. The first iteration of the program resulted in fixed-price contracts for 50 MW of in-state renewables projects (up to 2.2 MW each). In 2012 the Vermont legislature increased the program by 77.5 MW, up to a total of 127.5 MW through 2022. More information is available on the Standard Offer page.

Resources

This webpage provides information and resources regarding renewable energy sources including solar, biomass, wind, and hydropower.