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VT PSD Ignores Their Own Polling in Their Pursuit of “RES Reform”

by | Mar 5, 2024

TJ Poor, PSD memo to House Environment & Energy, 2/6/24: “The PSD’s proposal remains the only proposal that is based on Vermonters’ input, and is intended to reflect the priorities heard during the stakeholder engagement process.”

Statement from Governor Phil Scott, 2/27/04: “Acting to implement the Environmental Justice Law that the Legislature passed, and I signed, in 2022, the Public Service Department conducted a thorough 18-month public engagement process to understand Vermonters’ priorities for our clean and renewable electricity supply.”

VT PSD incorrectly extrapolated their polling and focus group results to prioritize additional dependence on nuclear power and reducing net metering compensation in order to justify their preferred policy of cutting electric rates over deploying new renewables and fighting climate change.

PSD’s proposal does not accurately reflect the results of PSD’s own focus groups or polling:

1. PSD’s RES reform proposal increases Vermont’s reliance on nuclear power

Of the 180 responses from Vermonters in PSD’s report Follow-up Survey Open-Ended Question Verbatim Responses only one referenced wanting more nuclear power.

2. PSD’s RES reform proposal makes it more expensive for Vermonters trying to go solar

None of the 180 responses from Vermonters in PSD’s report Follow-up Survey Open-Ended Question Verbatim Responses stated they wanted people choosing net metered solar to pay more.

3. Only 31% of Vermonters in PSD’s poll refused to pay more for renewables

Of the 51% of poll respondents who said they are willing to pay more for renewables, the median amount was $30 more a month.

4. Willingness to pay more for renewables is strong even at the lowest income levels

37% of PSD’s poll respondents in households <$50k/yr willing to pay more for renewables said they would pay up to $50 more a month. Another 13% from this group earning under $50k/yr said they would pay more than $50/mo more for electricity from renewable energy.

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