Carve-out: Distributed generation 1% of annual retail electricity sales by 2017; 10% by 2032.
Tracking system: New England Generation Information System (NE-GIS)
All electricity suppliers in Vermont are required to obtain 55% of retail electricity sales from renewable sources by 2017. The standard increases by 4% every three years until reaching 75% by 2032. Distributed generation refers to renewable generation under 5 MW connected to the distribution utility or a net-metered system providing renewable energy credits (RECs) to the electricity supplier.
Vermont's net metering program has a system size limit of 500 kW, which can provide credit for excess generation from midscale systems. Group net metering has enabled community solar, which provides growth opportunities for midmarket solar. The state also offers various incentives that fall within the range of midscale solar.
- In January 2017, Vermont's expansion net-metering rules took effect, which lifted the aggregate net metering cap.
All utilities in Vermont are required to offer net metering to retail customers. To qualify for net metering, the customer must obtain a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC). A simplified registration process for the certificate is applicable to net metered PV systems <15 kW. Systems of 150 kW and above must make a filing for the Certificate of Public Good. In January 2017, Vermont's expansion net-metering rules took effect, which lifted the aggregate net-metering cap. Net metering customers who completed the Certificate of Public Good filings prior to 2017 were grandfathered under Vermont's former net metering rules for a period of 10 years from the date of commissioning.
System size limit: 500 kW; 2 MW for military
Aggregate cap: None
Credit: Net excess generation is credited at the retail rate plus an additional credit for solar energy; for solar systems ≤15 kW, the additional credit is equal to $0.20 minus the utility's residential retail rate; for solar systems >15 kW, the additional credit is equal to $0.19 minus the residential retail rate. For example, if a utility's highest residential rate is $0.18/kWh, the additional credit for a 50kW PV system would be $0.01/kWh. If the residential rate is higher than $0.19/kWh, the same system would not receive additional credit. The residential rate is used to calculate the additional credit even if the customer belongs to another rate class, such as commercial or industrial.
RECs: Utilities own RECs unless the customer elects to retain ownership.
Meter aggregation: Group net metering is allowed.
Vermont has interconnection standards for distributed generation systems up to 50 MW (under Rule 5.500) and a special set of standards for net-metered systems ≤150 kW (under Rule 5.100).
|Eligible Systems||Type of Interconnection|
|Net-metered systems ≤15 kW||Simplified net-metered interconnection process (response within ten days)|
|Net-metered systems ≤150 kW||Standard net-metered interconnection process|
|Distributed systems >150 kW||May qualify for fast track interconnection1; otherwise follow standard distributed system interconnection process.|
System size limit: 50 MW
Liability insurance: Liability insurance is not required
External disconnect switch: Required
Third Party Ownership
Third party solar power purchase agreements are allowed in Vermont.
Vermont's group billing mechanism under its net metering policy allows customers to share renewable energy output from a system. Utilities and third party owners may offer shared solar projects to electric customers. The output of the system is limited at 500 kW based on the net metering system size cap.
State Incentive Programs
|Renewable Energy Systems Sales Tax Exemption||Vermont Department of Taxes||Renewable energy systems ≤500 kW qualify for 100% exemption from Vermont's state sales tax.|
|Solar Property Tax Exemptions||Vermont Department of Taxes||Solar PV generating facilities <50 kWac are exempt from the $4/kW annual Uniform Capacity
Tax and property tax; PV facilities >50 kWac are subject to the Uniform Capacity Tax
but exempt from statewide education property tax.
Municipal authorities have the option to offer property tax exemption for solar systems.
|Commercial/Agricultural Energy Loan Program||Vermont Economic Development Authority||Maximum loan of $2 million may be available for commercial entities, farms individuals, and municipalities to build or improve renewable energy or energy efficiency projects. Another loan program with a maximum load of $500,000 is available for small businesses.|
|Standard Offer Program||Vermont Electric Power Producers (VEPP) Inc. on behalf of the Vermont Public Utility Commission||PV systems ≤2.2 MW can bid into the Public Utility Commission's request for proposals for long-term contracts at avoided cost rates to be used as annual per kilowatt hour costs.|
Utility Incentive Programs
|Green Mountain Power Solar Power||$0.053 per kWh for systems with ≤15 kW and under capacity and $0.043 for systems >15 kW.||Systems ≤500 kW are eligible for Green Mountain Power's additional credit.|
The list below provides some resources for each type of policy or program. Please reference and contact relevant authorities and local utilities for the most up-to-date and accurate information on state and utility policies and incentive programs.
Renewable Portfolio Standard
Net metering and interconnection
- Vermont Public Utility Commission: Net Metering
- Department of Public Service: Net Metering
- Vermont Public Utility Commission: Rule 5.500 Interconnection Requirements
Programs and incentives
- Vermont Department of Taxes: Everything You Need to Know About Solar
- Vermont Department of Taxes: Taxation of Solar Plants Factsheet
- Vermont Economic Development Authority: Commercial Energy Loan Program
- Vermont Economic Development Authority: Agricultural Energy Loan Program
- Vermont Economic Development Authority: Small Business Energy Loan Program
- Vermont Economic Development Authority: Commercial Loan Rates
- Vermont Standard Offer Program