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Update on Proposed Retroactive Changes to BED Net-Metering Tariff

by | Nov 2, 2022

Burlington Electric Department recently filed a proposed tariff (Case 22-3947) that would terminate the utility’s long-standing practice of providing monetary payments to customers with net-metering systems permitted before 2017. The proposed tariff would also impose new limits on how long these systems could carry credit balances.

REV has serious concerns about the practice of retroactively modifying the compensation terms for net-metering customers. The potential harm in this practice is not only in reduced compensation to impact customers but also the effect depriving Vermonters of the ability to rely upon the structural terms of the applicable net-metering tariff at the time that they enter the program. Such a precedent could make it significantly more difficult and more costly for Vermonters interested in participating in net-metering to secure financing for these projects if financial institutions and other investors see the compensation structure as vulnerable to change in any future tariff case. REV filed a motion to intervene in the case with the Public Utilities Commission and asked the PUC to deny this element of the proposed tariff. Read REV’s letter to the PUC.

In response to REV’s letter, the Commission asked BED for more information on these provisions. BED responded by dropping its request for retroactive changes to net-metering compensation for pre-existing net-metering customers. In a letter submitted to the PUC, BED stated that it is prepared to honor the original terms it offered these customers, citing PUC approval of the existing tariff dating back to 2011. The Department of Public Service subsequently recommended that BED be required to implement the changes in the original filing, arguing that the terms that older net-metering systems received were not consistent with the net-metering rule, in spite of multiple approvals of these terms by the PUC. REV strongly believes customers should be able to rely on the terms of the net-metering program that were offered at the time that they joined the program. REV will continue to monitor this case and advocate for PUC approval of the updated BED proposal.

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