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ACT NO. 69

(S.57)

Public Service; utility companies; energy efficiency;

renewable electric generation

This act adds a new statutory chapter addressing renewable energy programs. The chapter authorizes electric utilities upon approval of the Public Service Board to establish renewable pricing programs to allow electric consumers to voluntarily participate in programs that increase utilization of renewable energy sources by investing in renewable energy projects or by purchasing tradeable renewable energy credits. The Public Service Board is mandated to develop draft legislation proposing a renewable portfolio standard that might allow the Board to require a minimum percentage of renewable energy sources be included in the power supply portfolio for each seller of retail electricity in Vermont. Another section permits the Board to approve regulation of electric companies that differ from the traditional rate base, rate-of-return ratemaking regulation.

The act appropriates $626,000.00, plus any unappropriated balance, from the petroleum violation escrow fund for use by the Department of Public Service in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development to establish a program of incentive payments to promote the installation of small scale renewable energy systems in Vermont residences and businesses.

The act amends the Department of Public Service statutory directive to formulate a 20-year electric plan for the state. A new plan shall be adopted no later than January 1, 2004 and submitted to the General Assembly.

In addition, the act provides for a study whether waste-to-energy which is part of an integrated waste management system should be designated as a renewable energy source.

Effective Date: From passage, June 17, 2003.