Vermont utility commission slightly adjusts solar net-metering rates

Today, the Vermont Public Utility Commission released the required update to the state’s netting program. As a result of the adjustments, most existing netting systems will see an increase in their compensation. Future systems applying for permits on and after September 1, 2022, will see a small net fee reduction over existing systems.

Every two years, the committee must review the incentives for new netting systems and decide whether to adjust them up or down. The purpose of this adjustment is to ensure that the pace of net meter adoption is consistent with Vermont’s policy objectives, taking into account the effects of the program on electricity rates. Considerations include the changing costs of installing grid metering systems, the pace of past grid deployment, and the impact of grid metering on all taxpayers.

Founded in 1999, the grid metering program is just one of many programs available for solar and other renewable energy development in Vermont. Customers who participate in the grid meter program can settle their electricity bills with financial incentives based on the amount of electricity generated by their grid meter systems.

The committee should reconsider the financial incentives offered to new grid metering systems every two years through its biennial review process to ensure the program continues to provide value to all Vermonters, including those who do not directly participate in the grid metering program. Today’s order is a conclusion of that review process.

The information and data presented in this year’s biennial review process shows that the grid metering program – in particular solar metering – continues to have robust participation, despite several reductions in compensation since the launch. start of the program. In 2021, more than 86% of grid metering CPGs (Public Interest Certificates) were issued within 31 days, as many of the best-located grid metering schemes benefited from streamlined licensing. In 2021, nearly 3,000 new solar grid metering systems and one wind grid metering system received CPGs, representing a total of approximately 45 MW of new renewable energy capacity. This exceeds the approximately 36 MW of netting permits issued in 2020 and continues to exceed the amount needed to meet Vermont’s current renewable energy requirements.

However, the data presented in this biennial procedure also shows that net metering is the most expensive of the state renewable energy programs, and that the pace of grid metering installations is ahead of other less expensive renewable energy projects. surpasses. For example, 2021 saw the interconnection of more than 28 MW of net-metered projects, compared to 6.5 MW of standard offer projects and 3.7 MW of utility solar power, although the standard offer and renewable energy projects from utility companies come at a significantly lower price. . This trend toward much more netted projects ultimately raises rates for Vermonters who are unable or unable to participate in the netting program.

Therefore, in order to better moderate the pace of development of new net meters, the committee has decided to reduce the fee for new grid meters, resulting in a net decrease of $0.00272 per kWh, or less than three-tenths of a cent. However, due to other adjustments made in order today, most existing grid metering systems will benefit from an increase of $0.00728 per kWh, or about three-quarters of a cent, in their current incentives.

“The committee is committed to aggressively pursuing and enforcing Vermont’s renewable energy requirements, but it is imperative that we continue to focus on and routinely re-examine the costs of our renewable energy policies and programs and how to achieve them. Influencing Vermonters,” said committee chair Anthony Roisman. † “Net metering will remain an important part of Vermont’s portfolio approach to addressing climate change, but it should not displace other, cheaper sources of renewable generation.”

The changes announced via the biannual update will take effect on September 1, 2022.

News from the State of Vermont PUC

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