On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this in response to the April 4th release of the third Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, “We are on a fast track to climate disaster: Major cities underwater. Unprecedented heat waves. Terrifying storms. Widespread water shortages. The extinction of a million species of plants and animals. This is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies.”
Despite all the evidence around us of impending climate catastrophe and that millions of public dollars are being spent annually to convince Vermonters to make everyday decisions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by going electric, the Vermont Department of Public Service has just recommended that the rate Vermonters receive for installing net metered solar power be decreased for the next two years.
In other words, at the exact moment when DPS should be doing more to help Vermonters convert away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy for their electricity, they have decided to do less.
If DPS’ recommendation to cut net metering rates as part of the Public Utilities Commission’s biennial update of the net metering program, this would mark the sixth time in six years that the assistance Vermonters receive for installing net metered solar on their roofs, in their yards and elsewhere would be decreased.
We are deeply troubled by the fact that the Department has made this recommendation under the pretext of protecting ratepayers but without presenting any detailed analysis of the relative costs and benefits to residential customers of keeping the existing net metering rates versus cutting them yet again.
We the undersigned organizations representing thousands of concerned Vermonters respectfully ask the Public Utilities Commission to increase the support for net metering, the single most effective program for helping Vermonters switch to clean, reliable and renewable energy.
Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
Renewable Energy Vermont