MONTPELIER — The Vermont Public Service Board has drafted a proposal that would change the rules for Vermont's net-metering program.
Net metering allows electric customers to generate their own renewable electricity and supply any excess power to their utility. The new proposal comes in response to Act 99 of 2014, in which the Legislature directed the Board to design a new metering rule to take effect on Jan. 1, 2017, for future net-metering systems.
A major change from the current program is the use of price to encourage the siting of net-metering systems in preferred locations. Currently, net-metering systems over 15 kilowatts receive the same price regardless of size or location. The proposed rule sets different price levels to encourage siting in developed areas like roofs, parking lots, landfills, and gravel pits and on town-preferred sites.
The rule also provides simplified procedures for towns and members of the public to participate more easily in the review of net-metering applications. It requires applicants seeking to build larger net-metering systems to conduct public outreach with local governments and neighboring property owners before filing an application.
The Board is encouraging public input on the proposed rule. Two public hearings will be held on May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Montpelier High School Cafeteria and on May 5 at 10 a.m. at the Board's hearing room in Montpelier. Written comments should be filed by May 4 at noon at psb.clerk@vermont,gov or to the Vermont Public Service Board, 112 State Street, 4th floor, Montpelier, VT 05620 -2701
The text of the draft rule, additional details about the public hearings, and copies of comments already filed may be found on the Board's website at psb.vermont.gov/statutesrulesandguidelines/proposedrules/ruleS100.