Vermont Legislature Encourages Green Options

On May 30, the Vermont legislature adopted a bill, which the Governor is expected to sign, granting authority to the Public Service Board (PSB) to approve green power options offered by electric utilities.

Montpelier, Vermont – June 16, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] According to the bill SP 0057, renewable energy options may be priced at a premium to standard tariffs provided that the premium is cost-based and “reasonably reflect[s] the difference between acquiring the renewable energy and the utility’s alternative cost of power, including administrative costs.” The board is to consider the following factors in determining whether to approve proposed programs: (1) marketing and administrative expenses; (2) independent auditing or certification of sources; (3) marketing and promotion plans; (4) effectiveness of the program in meeting the goals of promoting renewable energy generation and increasing public understanding of renewables; and (5) costs imposed on nonparticipating customers. The legislation also calls for a study of the possible effects of implementing a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), allocates US$626,000 in oil overcharge funds for supporting the installation of small-scale renewable energy systems, and allows the PSB to set up performance-based regulatory schemes to encourage utilities to promote efficiency and renewable energy.
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