|Community Renewable Energy Program
Brought into Vermont law through 30 V.S.A. § 8010, Chapter 89 of Title 30, "Renewable Energy Programs", details the regulations surrounding self-generation and net-metering in the state of Vermont. This bill delegates net-metering rulemaking to the Vermont Public Utilities Commission (VPUC), who made effective their net-metering rules via Rule 5.100 on January 1st, 2017. Group net-metering systems and the processes needed to obtain a Vermont Certificate of Public Good (CPG) pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 8010 are discussed.
Group net-metering systems are defined as a net-metering system serving more than one customer, or a customer with multiple electric meters, located within the service area of the same retail electricity provider. Net-metering facilities may not exceed 500 kW capacity and must employ either a renewable energy source or a qualified micro-combined heat and power system of 20 kW or less. Renewable energy means energy produced using a technology that relies on a resource that is consumed at or below its natural regeneration rate. Group net-metering systems may be directly interconnected or not.
For both interconnected and non-interconnected group net-metering systems, a blended residential rate is used for bill crediting. For non-interconnected systems, if the electricity produced by the net-metering system exceeds the electricity consumed, participants have credited to their bill their respective allocation multiplied by their applicable blended residential retail rate. For interconnected group net-metering, the applicable blended residential retail rate multiplied by the kWh produced is allocated to customers' bills. Neither may use these bill credits toward non-bypassable charges. Credits remaining on group members' bills after application to all charges considered non-bypassable will be tracked, applied, or carried forward. Accumulated bill credits must be used within 12 months from the month it is earned. Additional credit may be obtained through adjustors, which are influenced by site selection and renewable energy credit (REC) ownership.
Group net-metering system applicants must determine at the time of filing with the VPUC whether or not RECs are to be transferred to the electric company. The action upon filing is irreversible, and the electric company must retire any RECs transferred to it by a net-metering customer. If RECs are transferred to the electric company, REC adjustors will not be applicable for a group's bill credit.
See the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network (VECAN) for further information surrounding community renewable energy in Vermont.