More than 150 Vermont businesses wrote a letter to the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) this week urging regulators to reconsider their recent draft rule for the state’s net metering program.
“As businesses and other institutions that support Vermont’s highly popular and successful net metering program, we ask you to reconsider the newly proposed net metering rule that would drastically undermine this bedrock Vermont energy program,” the coalition letter states.
“Many of us are part of the vast renewable energy supply chain in Vermont including manufacturers, contractors, and other value-added businesses who benefit from a robust clean energy industry in Vermont. Many of us are customers of net metering who chose to make the investment in a more renewable, energy independent future for Vermont. And many of us are hosts of solar projects, such as farmers, that benefit from a stable source of revenue…”
The widely supported letter demonstrates the vast and diverse economic engine generated by Vermont’s growing climate economy — particularly the renewable energy sector.
Net metering allows homes, businesses, farms, schools, towns, and other institutions generate their own clean, renewable energy. These customers invest in renewable energy systems, either on-site or remotely, stimulating the Vermont economy, helping build the distributed generation grid of the 21st century, while making our state more energy secure.
Net metering enabled more than 7,000 customers to achieve greater energy independence, control their energy costs, save money, and reduce climate pollution to date. The letter urging support for continued renewable energy choices and net metering opportunities garnering 150+ businesses and institutions signing on in a week’s time shows the tremendous importance to Vermont’s economy that we get this rule right.
We are thankful that the PSB welcomed comments and feedback through many iterations of developing their new net metering program. It’s no small task and the rule’s impacts will be significant. We hope the PSB reconsiders its recent Order and makes final changes that allow for a sustainable, customer-responsive program going forward to avoid market disruptions that have plagued other states and stalled climate progress.
Net metering in Vermont has helped keep Vermont’s electricity rates among the lowest in the region; reduce climate and air pollution; and make our communities more energy secure and less dependent on out of state dirty fossil fuels. Vermont consistently ranks in the top 3 nationally for solar jobs per capita thanks to net metering; with now nearly one out of every 17 workers employed in the clean energy sector.
Read the full letter here.
Lead image credit: Putneypics | Flickr