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REV Urges PUC to Reject Proposed Cuts to Net Metering

by | May 2, 2024

Yesterday, REV filed comments urging the Public Utility Commission to reject the Public Service Department’s proposal to reduce net metering compensation for the seventh time since 2017. Despite falling solar costs, consistent cuts to the net metering program have made net metering less accessible to ordinary Vermonters.

The Public Service Department’s proposal to reduce the “adjustors” for new net metering systems by 2 cents/kWh would save Vermonters just 23 thousandths of a cent/kWh or less than $2/year for a household with a 700 kWh/month usage. While the proposal would provide little tangible benefit to Vermont ratepayers at large, it would significantly harm Vermonters looking to join the net metering program. Under the Department’s proposal financial benefits of a typical residential net metering system would be 60% lower than in 2017.

The Department’s proposal comes at a time when net metering participation is falling and while the requirements for distributed generation under Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard are on the verge of being increased by H.289. From 2017 through 2023 – a period in which the Department characterized net metering interconnections as “relatively constant”, “in line with previous years” and “steady” – the capacity of annual net metering CPG applications has fallen by 62% since its peak and annual installed net metering capacity has fallen by 39%.

The Department’s proposal fails to adequately prioritize the mandate to provide universal access to net metering and consider all of the benefits of the program – including the greenhouse gas reduction benefits it provides and should not be implemented. Consequently, it falls to the Public Utility Commission to reject the Department’s misguided recommendation and, if not, to the Legislature to protect net metering as a viable option for Vermonters.

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