This Week’s Vermont Solar Forecast: Cloudy

In just a few days, the Vermont Department of Public Service (“DPS”) will make its recommendation to the Public Utility Commission (“PUC”) regarding solar net metering rates for the next two years. This is part of a somewhat arcane process known as the “Biennial Update.”

Why does this matter? It matters because the Biennial Update will determine the compensation that you, your family and friends, and Vermont business will receive when you register your net metering solar systems at any time from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2024. These rates apply to every net metered renewable energy system from a solar tracker to 500kW solar systems.

While we’d like to have a sunny (pun intended) outlook about the Biennial Update, recent history suggests that we need to be ready to fight hard for an outcome that reflects the true value of Vermont-scale renewable energy, the requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act, and the need to address climate change NOW. As we have noted in a prior blog post, the PUC determined in the last Biennial Update that the value of Renewable Energy Credit was ZERO and the value of a “Preferred Site” should be reflected by subtracting one cent from the rate paid for each kWh of solar energy generation.

Perhaps it says something about the disconnect between regulation and life when “credit” is not positive and “preferred” means something negative, but that’s one for our legislature to take a hard look at sooner rather than later. In the meantime, please join us in doing all we can to push back hard against any efforts to devalue solar energy and impede our progress toward the renewable energy powered grid that Vermont must have as quickly as possible. You can find the link to the Biennial Update proceeding here.

Watch for the DPS filing this week, and make your views known!

Photo Credit: Kaylee Stepkoski

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