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Vermont

Legislative activities

The Vermont state legislature has passed legislation focusing on net-metering and interconnection standards. In 1998 the Arkansas state legislature enacted net-metering legislation that has been subsequently amended and required the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) to establish interconnection standards. (2005 Act 61 and 2010 H.B. 781) The legislature also set up Vermont's Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF), in 2005, to promote the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric-power resources. The Vermont state legislature enacted legislation that forbids agreements prohibiting the use of renewable resources. [2, 3, 4, 5]

“In March 2008, Governor Douglas signed into law the Energy Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2008 (H 520). The new law is similar to EPACT 2005 in that it directs Vermont’s Public Service Board to “investigate opportunities for Vermont electric utilities cost effectively to install advanced ‘smart’ metering equipment capable of sending two way signals and sufficient to support advanced time of use pricing during periods of critical peaks or hourly differentiated time of use pricing.” After its investigation, the Board is to require each utility to file plans for deploying smart meters and TOU pricing, provided that the utility serves a territory where such a deployment is “appropriate and cost-effective.”” [1]


Regulatory activities

The State of Vermont Public Service Board had established Time-of-Day rates for all customer types by 1987. By 2006 the Board had moved away from interruptible accounts for demand-side management and focused on curtailable load accounts. [6, 7]

“In February 2007, the Vermont Public Service Board decided not to adopt PURPA Standard 14 (“Time-Based Metering and Communications”) as enacted in EPACT 2005. Instead, it will “consider the standard’s applicability on a utility-specific basis in a future rate case or rate-design case, as appropriate.” The Decision cited two determining factors:

- “There are considerable differences among Vermont’s distribution utilities with respect to the number and type of time-based rates they offer, as well as the utilities’ implementation of smart-metering technologies.”
- “Each utility’s circumstances should be taken into account when determining whether to require the utility to change its rate design or its metering system. Adopting the EPACT 2005 smart metering and time-based standard on a statewide basis at this time would not allow this case-specific consideration to take place. Therefore, the Board will consider the applicability of the EPACT 2005 smart metering and time-based standard on a case-by-case basis in a future rate case or rate-design case, as appropriate.”

In August 2008, Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) and the Vermont Department of Public Service launched a collaborative smart-grid pilot program open to participation by any utility in the state. The collaboration, according to the utility and the state agency, will establish “templates and standards for new meter and communications technology.” It will also develop CVPS SmartPower, “a systematic program to analyze and install the latest in metering technology over several years.” (As of now, CVPS SmartPower is expected to run through 2013.) CVPS and the Vermont Department of Public Service expect that ultimately CVPS SmartPower will yield expanded time-of-day rate programs and new real-time rate programs.” [1]

Time-of-Day and Time-of-Use rates break the cost for electricity into periods of either peak or off-peak pricing. Two subsets of Time-of-Use include critical peak rates and electric load management rates. Critical peak rates where a reduced rate is charged for energy during peak and off-peak hours and energy price is set when the company calls for critical hours based on Day Ahead ISO-NE Locational Marginal Price. Critical hours are when the company notifies the customer nine hours before the power day begins that the price for energy during critical hours will be different and they have the option of paying the new price of energy or de-energizing equipment. Electric load management rates charge a significantly reduced rate for off-peak energy consumption.

Demand-side management includes curtailable load rates. Curtailable rates are when the company notifies the customer at least one hour before the curtailment period begins equipment must de-energize if curtailment does not occur the customer will pay a premium for energy used during the curtailment period.


Utilities and Rate Schedules

Central Vermont Public Service
- Central Vermont Public Service Residential Rates
- Central Vermont Public Service Business Rates

Green Mountain Power
- Green Mountain Power Rates

See the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for information on consumer-owned Cooperatives: http://www.nreca.org/members/MemberDirectory/Pages/default.aspx


State-Level Incentives

Vermont offers a business solar tax credit and lending program at the corporate and personal levels, clean energy finance districts, property tax exemptions for solar and CHP/cogeneration, and grants and rebates for wind, water and solar.

More information can be found in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cfm?re=1&ee=1&spv=0&st=0&srp=1&state=VT


Additional Resources

State Energy Office:
- Vermont Department of Public Service Energy Efficiency Division State Energy Office

State Authority Dealing with Energy Regulation:
- State of Vermont Public Service Board
- Docket Search: http://publicservicedept.vermont.gov/dockets

Vermont Statutes

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cfm?re=1&ee=1&spv=0&st=0&srp=1&state=VT


References

[1] Demand Response and Smart Metering Policy Actions Since the Energy Policy Act of 2005: A Summary for State Officials, Prepared by the U.S. Demand Response Coordinating Committee for The National Council on Electricity Policy, Fall 2008. URL: http://www.oe.energy.gov/DocumentsandMedia/NCEP_Demand_Response_1208.pdf
[2] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Vermont – Net Metering, 06/11/2010. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=VT02R&re=1&ee=1
[3] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Vermont Interconnection Standards, 06/08/2010. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=VT01R&re=1&ee=1
[4] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF), 06/22/2010. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=VT06R&re=1&ee=1
[5] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Vermont Renewable Energy Access Law, 06/09/2010. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=VT10R&re=1&ee=1
[6] Central Vermont Public Service, Residential Service Rates, 4/1/2010. URL: http://www.cvps.com/CustomerService/ResRates.aspx
[7] Green Mountain Power, Rate Tariffs. URL: http://www.greenmountainpower.com/customer-service/billing/rates/tariffs.html