At the end of April, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) issued proposed changes to Vermont net’s-metering rule, Rule 5.100. Given the urgency to expand renewable generation to meet the electrification and decarbonization goals laid out in the Global Warming Solutions Act, all changes to Rule 5.100 must be evaluated based on one criterion above all others: Will the changes facilitate or impede the rapid and responsible deployment of new net-metered systems?
Any proposed change which fails this criterion faces a high burden of proof to demonstrate that it is addressing an issue that is comparably vital to the public interest that cannot be addressed in a less burdensome manner. Unfortunately, many of the proposed changes unnecessarily restrict the locations and markets available for net-metered systems without providing any clear public benefit.
Given the conflict between the PUC’s stated goal for the changes – streamlining the certificate of public good process – and the likely result of the proposed changes – slowing renewable development under the net-metering program – REV has urged the PUC to halt these changes and re-engage with stakeholders. It is vital that the state takes every opportunity to promote renewable development to further its climate goals and the proposed changes fail to do so.