Vermont renewable industry hails passage of energy bill

first_imgMONTPELIER, Vermont | May 5, 2011 – A bill promoting renewable energy development in Vermont and clean energy jobs won final approval by the Vermont Legislature late yesterday.  Martha Staskus, Chair of the Board of Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) says the bill helps keep Vermont on the map as a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency. ‘The bill will spur the development of new local renewable energy, produce economic growth, and continue to grow clean jobs.’H.56, The Vermont Energy Act of 2011 continues Vermont’s efforts to promote a green economy and energy independence. It expands and improves Vermont’s successful net metering program and prevents a gap in funding for the successful Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF). This fund leverages private investment to create renewable energy projects.  Net metering allows Vermont ratepayers to generate their own energy with renewable systems and run their meter backwards when producing excess power. Modeled after the successful Green Mountain Power SolarGMP program, which recognizes the peak power savings of net metered solar, the new bill requires utilities to offer a 20¢ credit for every excess kilowatt hour of solar electricity a customer produces.For instance, if the utility is charging 14 cents per kwh and the customer produces, say, an extra 100 kwh in a month, the customer would receive an extra 6 cents per kwh credit on top of the 14-cent utility rate, or an extra $6 credit on top of the $14. If the utility rate is 18 cents per kwh, under that same scenario the customer benefit would be $2 plus $18. In some smaller utilities with 20 or more cents per kwh, there would not be any extra, but the customer would still be credited the rate amount, even if it were 21 cents per kwh.‘The new statewide solar adder gives Vermont homeowners, businesses, non-profits and municipalities the incentive and ability to produce their own solar energy while recognizing the public benefit of distributed solar energy to Vermonters statewide,’ added Staskus.The bill includes expansions Vermont’s existing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) districts, a program that allows towns to offer loans to homeowners looking to make energy efficiency retrofits.Other provisions in the bill provide incentives for consumers looking to install high efficiency biomass heating systems. It also establishes low sulfur and biofuel mandates for heating oil sold in Vermont, timed to match implementation by surrounding states. About Renewable Energy Vermont (REV), www.revermont.org(link is external)REV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan trade association representing nearly 300 businesses, individuals, colleges and others committed to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and expanding the availability of renewable sources of energy in Vermont. last_img

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