H.289 Enacting the Recommendations of the Legislative Working Group on RES Reform
REV’s priority for the 2024 Legislative Session is updating Vermont’s 2015 Renewable Energy Standard (RES) to bring its requirements for new renewables more in line with the rest of New England. The current RES only calls for 10% new renewables by 2032, which is wholly inadequate given the severity of the climate crisis upon us. If enacted, H.289 would incentivize the construction of hundreds of megawatts of wind and solar throughout Vermont and New England, removing greenhouse gases equivalent to taking 160,000 cars off the road by 2035.
Highlights of the bill are requirements for:
- 20% in state renewables <5MW by 2032 for GMP and VEC, by 2035 for municipal utilities and Global Foundries
- 10-20% requirement for the purchase of in-region renewables of any size built after 2010 for all utilities that are not currently 100% renewable by 2032/2035.
- New biomass and large hydro (>200MW) or expansions of either are not counted as new renewables.
- Utilities already 100% renewable (BED/WEC/Swanton) must procure 100% of new load by 2028 from new renewables
- 100% renewable energy mandate by 2030 except for Global Foundries and municipal utilities (2035)
- Annual REC compliance no longer based on annual sales but total purchases which accounts for the ∼6% line loss
- No “clean” energy requirement allowing for the retirement of nuclear attributes
- GMP must meet all of their load growth with new renewables beginning in 2035 at the latest
H.631 VT Storage Performance Credit
REV is advocating for legislation to bring Vermont more in line with advances in other states on energy storage goals and procurement. REV has modeled its proposal after Connecticut’s new program and would require VTDPS to create an Energy Storage Performance Credit to provide ratepayers with affordable energy storage solutions that will mitigate peak demand, provide grid reliability, and better integrate renewable energy resources by 2025. REV’s proposal would require the Performance Credit to provide a positive net present value to ratepayers.
H.668 Low-Income Electric Ratepayer Protection Program
Legislation is being introduced in the House directing the PUC to draft legislation for the 2025 legislative session designing a state-administered low-income ratepayer protection program by convening an electricity affordability program collaborative of stakeholders. The proposed ratepayer protection program must provide electricity bill assistance for low-income residential customers so that no household <60% of the State median income (about $45,000) pays more than 10% of its monthly income on electricity if the household heats with electricity and not more than 6% if the household does not heat with electricity.
S.236 Limiting Adjoining Landowner Participation in Section 248 to Public Health, Safety and Traffic Concerns
This bill would limit adjoining landowner participation in Section 248 to public health, safety and traffic concerns. Importantly, while it would preserve the PUC’s right to evaluate projects based on aesthetics, no longer would adjoining landowners be allowed to party status to intervene based solely on aesthetic concerns.
S.259 Make Big Oil Pay – Climate Change Superfund
REV has joined the broad coalition working to pass legislation here in Vermont requiring the largest fossil fuel companies to pay their fair share of the expenses Vermonters will incur due to climate change – to improve our state’s resilience to the crisis and help us recover from the climate-fueled disasters we’ll see in the future.
AWH Sales Tax Exemption
REV is supporting the growth of advanced wood heat by working to make the sales tax exemption for advanced wood boilers permanent or, at a minimum, extending the expiration date further into the future to provide greater predictability. The exemption is currently slated to expire 7/1/2025.