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.
12/01/22: Public Service Department Releases Public Engagement Plan to Guide Review of Vermont’s Renewable Electricity Policy and Programs
- The Department's proposed public engagement plan is meant to guide a comprehensive review of Vermont's renewable and clean electricity programs and policies over the next year. The proposed plan incorporates input received earlier this year from the Request for Input and envisions three phases of public engagement to implement a core recommendation of the Comprehensive Energy Plan.
11/8/22: The Department has posted the Draft 2023 RES Model on the Renewables page for review.
Request for Input
- To solicit feedback on the process for the comprehensive review and to gather initial input about what is important to Vermonters regarding the State’s supply of electricity, the Department issued a Request for Input (RFI). Links to the RFI and the related press release are below:
Request for Input overview: This two-page document provides a high-level description of the Request for Input and general scope of information under consideration. This document serves as an initial primer to the RFI, before diving into the specific questions under consideration.
- Visual Comparison of Potential Timelines: The Department's Request for Input asks a couple questions regarding how Vermonters would like to see the review of renewable and clean electricity programs and policies occur. In particular, the questions reference Appendix A of the Request for Input, which details two illustrative timelines of how this process could occur. To support review of and reflection on those timelines, the Department has developed a high-level visual of these two timelines, highlighting core milestones in each potential process.
- VECAN Webinar and Supporting Slides: In addition to these written materials, staff from the Department participated in a webinar with the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN) on July 29, 2022, to discuss the Request for Input and answer participants' questions on the effort. The recording from that webinar, slides, and other materials are available for review via VECAN's website at: https://vecan.net/vecan-vermont-public-service-department-webinar-rfi-for-vermonts-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)
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
This webpage provides information and resources regarding renewable energy sources including solar, biomass, wind, and hydropower.