It would be easy to conclude from what we read and hear that Vermont’s at the forefront when it comes to renewable energy. We’ve joined other states in adopting a Global Warming Solutions Act, a number of electric utilities say that they are “100% renewable,” and we can see solar panels more than we used to. Sadly, however, yesterday’s incentives are rapidly becoming today’s disincentives, and it is going to take a lot of work to turn the tide.
Vermont’s setting of the compensation you receive for your solar energy serves as an unfortunate example of this. Through a series of State rule changes over the years, the compensation of full retail utility rate plus a six cent “adder” you received for the solar power you provided to GMP a decade ago gave way to reduced adders, then to a 2017 Public Utility Commission (PUC) rule under which the PUC determines a “blended residential rate” (more on that in a future blog post) and applies “adjustors” to that rate.
This system of solar incentives sounds ok, right? It isn’t. Under the adjustors now in place, the value assigned to a new net metering customer’s renewable energy credits and use of what’s called a preferred site is zero. (Yes, you read that correctly). To make it even worse, on September 1st — JUST FOUR WEEKS FROM NOW — the adjusters become negative one cent. Can you imagine if your bank or any other business told you your reward for doing the right thing in the right place was to pay a penalty? Enough said.
The message here is twofold and straightforward. In this regulatory climate, let us help you get the registration for your AllEarth solar tracker or ground mount system in by August 31st to avoid the drop in your compensation. And please join us and others to fight for a system of solar incentives that recognizes the true value and necessity of residential and other Vermont-scale solar systems!
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