Download this document in MS Word format


AutoFill Template

S.52

Introduced by   Senator Lyons of Chittenden District and Senator Ayer of Addison District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Public service; portfolio standards; renewable energy

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to establish portfolio standards with regard to the amount of renewable energy to be sold by Vermont electricity providers.  These standards would require a retail electricity provider to maintain a certain amount of existing renewable resources in its portfolio and to provide a certain amount of new renewable resources.  In particular, by January 1, 2013, a retail provider shall supply an amount equal to its total incremental energy growth between January 1, 2004 and January 1, 2013.  The bill proposes to require the public service board to establish a system of tradeable credits, and it would allow the board to expand the definition of renewable energy.  It provides that if a renewable resource is to be subject to combustion, that combustion must result in significantly lower emissions than the production of a similar amount of energy from the combustion of fossil fuels.  The bill also would make it clear that energy efficiency and conservation programs include appropriate combined heat and power systems. 

The bill proposes to establish specific energy efficiency standards to apply to selected commercial and residential products, such as ceiling fans, commercial clothes washers, commercial refrigerators and freezers, illuminated exit signs, large air‑conditioning equipment, portable lamps, and traffic lights, based on widely used efficiency criteria such as the U.S. government’s Energy Star program and the most recent California standards.  The bill proposes to enable the commissioner of public service to add appliances to be subject to the rules, and to update the rules themselves.  As of January 1, 2007, no new product on the list may be sold at retail or offered for retail sale in the state unless it meets the standards.  The products must signify compliance by containing identifying marks on the product and packaging at the time of sale or installation.  The attorney general may institute proceedings to enforce the chapter, with repeat violations subject to civil penalties of not more than $250.00 per day.

The bill proposes to require the public service board to establish standards for interconnection of distributed generation.  It establishes an electricity reliability policy, to apply in regional proceedings, that would give due consideration to all available resources and provide for the selection of lowest cost solutions to system needs as determined on a total cost basis, and it requires state representatives to advocate for these policies in relevant venues.  It proposes to require the board to revise the rate designs of distribution electric companies to assure that their financial success is not linked to increased sales to end use customers and is not harmed by decreases in those sales.  Finally, the bill proposes to allow a joint petition by an electric company and a customer of a certain high level of usage to negotiate independently for its own power supply contracts.

AN ACT RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY PORTFOLIO STANDARDS, APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY STANDARDS, DISTRIBUTED ELECTRICITY, AND A CUSTOMER PETITION FOR INDEPENDENT STATUS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  30 V.S.A. § 8002 is amended to read:

§ 8002.  DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this chapter:

(1)(A)  “Renewable pricing” shall mean an optional service provided or contracted for by an electric company:

(i)  under which the company’s customers may voluntarily either:

(I)  purchase all or part of their electric energy from renewable sources as defined in this chapter; or

(II)  cause the purchase and retirement of tradeable renewable energy credits on the participating customer’s behalf; and

(ii)  which increases the company’s reliance on renewable sources of energy beyond those the electric company would otherwise be required to provide under section 218c of this title.

(B)  Renewable pricing programs may include, but are not limited to:

(i)  contribution-based programs in which participating customers can determine the amount of a contribution, monthly or otherwise, that will be deposited in a board-approved fund for new renewable energy project development;

(ii)  energy-based programs in which customers may choose all or a discrete portion of their electric energy use to be supplied from renewable resources;

(iii)  facility-based programs in which customers may subscribe to a share of the capacity or energy from specific new renewable energy resources.

(2)  “Renewable energy” means energy produced using a technology that relies on a resource that is being consumed at a harvest rate at or below its natural regeneration rate and if the production of energy involves combustion of the resource, the combustion results in significantly lower emissions than the production of a similar amount of energy from the combustion of fossil fuels.

(A)  For purposes of this subdivision (2), methane gas and other flammable gases produced by the decay of sewage treatment plant wastes or landfill wastes and anaerobic digestion of agricultural products, byproducts, or wastes shall be considered renewable energy resources, but no form of solid waste, other than agricultural or silvicultural waste, shall be considered renewable.

(B)  For purposes of this subdivision (2), no form of nuclear fuel shall be considered renewable.

(C)  For purposes of this chapter, the only energy produced by a hydroelectric facility to be considered renewable shall be from a hydroelectric facility with a generating capacity of 80 megawatts or less.

(D)  After conducting administrative proceedings, the board may add technologies or technology categories to the definition of “renewable energy,” provided that technologies using the following fuels shall not be considered renewable energy supplies:  coal, oil, and natural gas.

(3)  “Existing renewable energy” means all types of renewable energy sold from the supply portfolio of a Vermont electricity provider as provided for in subdivision 8004(b)(1) of this title.  For purposes of meeting the existing renewable energy requirements of this chapter, energy provided by the public service board rule 4.100 purchasing agent as the result of contracts entered into on or before January 1, 1995, shall be deemed “existing renewable energy.”

(4)  “New renewable energy” means renewable energy produced by a generating resource built after December 31, 2003.  This may include the additional energy from an existing renewable facility retrofitted with advanced technologies.  For the purposes of this chapter, renewable energy refers to either “existing renewable energy” or “new renewable energy.”

(5)  “Tradeable renewable energy credits” means all of the environmental attributes associated with a single unit of energy generated by a renewable energy source where:

* * *

Sec. 2.  30 V.S.A. § 8004 is amended to read:

§ 8004.  RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARDS FOR SALES OF                                            ELECTRIC ENERGY

(a)  The public service board shall design a proposed renewable portfolio standard in the form of draft legislation.  The standard shall be developed with the aid of a renewable portfolio standard collaborative.  The renewable portfolio standard collaborative, composed of representatives from the electric utilities, industry, renewable energy industry, ratepayers, environmental and consumer groups, the department of public service, and other stakeholders identified by the board, shall aid in the development of a renewable portfolio standard for renewable energy resources, as well as requirements for implementation of and compliance with that standard.  The proposed renewable portfolio standard shall be applicable to all providers of electricity to retail consumers in this state.  The proposed renewable portfolio standard developed by the board will be presented to the house committee on commerce, the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy, and the senate committee on finance in the form of draft legislation for consideration in January 2004.

(b)  In developing the renewable portfolio standard, the board shall consider the following goals, which shall be afforded equal weight in formulating the standard:

(1)  increase the use of renewable energy in Vermont in order to capture the benefits of renewable energy generation for Vermont ratepayers and citizens.

(2)  maintain or reduce the rates of electricity being paid by Vermont ratepayers and lessen the price risk and volatility for future ratepayers.

(a)  In order for Vermont utilities to achieve the goals established in section 8001 of this title, no company shall sell or otherwise provide or offer to sell or provide electricity in the state of Vermont without ownership of sufficient energy produced by renewable resources as described in this chapter, or sufficient tradeable renewable energy credits that reflect the required renewable energy as provided for in subsection (b) of this section.

(b)  The standard shall include a two-part portfolio requirement that shall be applicable to all providers of electricity to retail consumers in this state, unless the electricity provider demonstrates in its integrated resource plan review under section 218c of this title, and the public service board determines that the electricity provider’s acquisition of efficiency or nonrenewable resources is a strategy that results in a more reliable and cost‑effective portfolio than would be the case if the electricity provider were required to meet the standard:

(1)  The first part of the standard requires that each retail electricity provider in Vermont maintain a certain amount of existing renewable resources in its portfolio.  Each electricity provider shall provide its retail customers in each calendar year the same annual amount of renewable energy as sold by that provider on average during calendar years 1995 through 1997.  No electricity provider during any calendar year shall be required to sell an amount of electricity generated from existing renewable resources exceeding 25 percent of the annual average as defined in this subsection.

(2)  The second part of the standard requires that each retail electricity provider in Vermont provide a certain amount of new renewable resources in its portfolio.  By January 1, 2013, each retail electricity provider in Vermont shall supply an amount equal to its total incremental energy growth between January 1, 2004 and January 1, 2013 through the use of electricity generated by new renewable resources.  No electricity provider shall be required to provide in excess of a total of 10 percent of its calendar year 2003 retail electric sales with electricity generated by new renewable resources.  The standard in this subsection shall not apply to an electricity provider that annually supplies over 50 percent of its sales as determined in subdivision (1) of this subsection with existing renewable resources.

(c)  The public service board shall provide, by order or rule, the regulations and procedures that are necessary to allow the public service board and the department of public service to implement and supervise further the implementation and maintenance of a renewables portfolio standard.

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 8005 is added to read:

§ 8005.  TRADEABLE CREDITS

(a)  The public service board shall establish or adopt a system of tradeable renewable energy credits for renewable resources that may be earned by electric generation qualifying for the two parts of the renewables portfolio standard.

(b)  The public service board shall ensure that all electricity provider and provider‑affiliate disclosures and representations made with regard to a provider’s portfolio are accurate and reasonably supported by objective data.  Further, the public service board shall ensure that providers disclose the types of generation used and whether the energy is Vermont‑based, and shall clearly distinguish between energy or tradeable energy credits provided from renewable and nonrenewable sources and existing and new sources.

Sec. 4.  30 V.S.A. § 209(d) is amended to read:

(d)(1)  The public service department, any entity appointed by the board under subdivision (2) of this subsection, all gas and electric utility companies, and the board upon its own motion, are encouraged to propose, develop, solicit, and monitor energy efficiency and conservation programs and measures, including appropriate combined heat and power systems that result in the conservation and efficient use of energy and meet the applicable agency of natural resources’ air quality standards.  Such programs and measures, and their implementation, may be approved by the board if it determines they will be beneficial to the ratepayers of the companies after such notice and hearings as the board may require by order or by rule.

(2)  In place of utility-specific programs developed pursuant to section 218c of this title, the board may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, provide for the development, implementation, and monitoring of gas and electric energy efficiency and conservation programs and measures, including appropriate combined heat and power systems that result in the conservation and efficient use of energy and meet the applicable agency of natural resources’ air quality standards, and including programs and measures delivered in multiple service territories, by one or more entities appointed by the board for these purposes.  The board may specify that the implementation of these programs and measures satisfies a utility’s corresponding obligations, in whole or in part, under section 218c of this title and under any prior orders of the board.

* * *

Sec. 5.  9 V.S.A. chapter 74 is added to read:

Chapter 74.  Energy Efficiency Standards

for Appliances and Equipment

§ 2791.  GENERAL PURPOSE

This chapter establishes minimum efficiency standards for certain products sold or installed in the state.

§ 2792.  Findings

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Efficiency standards for certain products sold or installed in the state assure consumers and businesses that those products meet minimum efficiency performance levels, thus saving money on utility bills.

(2)  These efficiency standards save energy and thus reduce pollution and other environmental impacts associated with the production, distribution, and use of electricity and natural gas.

(3)  These efficiency standards can make electricity systems more reliable by reducing the strain on the electricity grid during peak demand periods.  Furthermore, improved energy efficiency can reduce or delay the need for new power plants, power transmission lines, and power distribution system upgrades.

(4)  Energy efficiency standards contribute to the economy of this state by enabling consumers and business owners to spend less on energy, leaving more for the purchase of local goods and services.

§ 2793.  Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Commercial clothes washer” means a soft mount horizontal- or vertical-axis clothes washer that:

(A)  has a clothes container compartment no greater than 3.5 cubic feet in the case of a horizontal-axis product or no greater than 4.0 cubic feet in the case of a vertical-axis product; and

(B)  is designed for use by more than one household, such as in multifamily housing, apartments, or coin laundries.

(2)(A)  “Commercial refrigerators and freezers” means refrigerators, freezers, or refrigerator-freezers designed for use by commercial or institutional facilities for the purpose of storing food products, ice, or other perishable items at specified temperatures that:

(i)  incorporate most components involved in the vapor‑compression cycle and the refrigerated compartment in a single package; and

(ii)  may be configured with either solid or transparent doors as a reach-in cabinet, pass-through cabinet, roll-in cabinet, or roll-through cabinet.

(B)  This term does not include:

(i)  products with 85 cubic feet or more of internal volume;

(ii)  walk-in refrigerators or freezers; or

(iii)  consumer products that are federally regulated pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 6291 et seq.

(3)  “Commissioner” means the commissioner of the department of public service.

(4)  “Illuminated exit sign” means an internally illuminated sign that is designed to be permanently fixed in place to identify an exit; consists of an electrically powered integral light source that illuminates the legend “EXIT” and any directional indicators; and provides contrast between the legend, any directional indicators, and the background.

(5)  “Large packaged air-conditioning equipment” means packaged air‑conditioning equipment that has 240,000 Btu/hour or more of cooling capacity and that is built as a package and shipped as a whole to end-user sites.

(6)(A)  “Low voltage dry-type distribution transformer” means a distribution transformer that:

(i)  has an input voltage of 600 volts or less;

(ii)  is air-cooled;

(iii)  does not use oil as a coolant; and

(iv)  is rated for operation at a frequency of 60 Hertz. 

(B)  “Low voltage dry-type transformer” does not include:

(i)  transformers with multiple voltage taps, with the highest voltage tap equaling at least 20 percent more than the lowest voltage tap; or

(ii)  transformers, such as those commonly known as drive transformers, rectifier transformers, auto-transformers, uninterruptible power system transformers, impedance transformers, harmonic transformers, regulating transformers, sealed and nonventilating transformers, machine tool transformers, welding transformers, grounding transformers, or testing transformers, that are designed to be used in a special purpose application and are unlikely to be used in general purpose applications.

(7)  “Pass-through cabinet” means a commercial refrigerator or freezer with hinged or sliding doors on both the front and rear of the refrigerator or freezer.

(8)  “Reach-in cabinet” means a commercial refrigerator or freezer with hinged or sliding doors or lids.

(9)  “Roll-in cabinet” means a commercial refrigerator or freezer with hinged or sliding doors that allow wheeled racks of products to be rolled into the refrigerator or freezer.

(10)  “Roll-through cabinet” means a commercial refrigerator or freezer with hinged or sliding doors that allow wheeled racks of products to be rolled through the refrigerator or freezer.

(11)  “Torchiere” means a portable electric lamp with a reflective bowl that directs light upward onto a ceiling so as to produce indirect illumination on the surfaces below.

(12)  “Traffic signal module” means a standard eight‑inch (200 mm) or

12‑inch (300 mm) traffic signal indication, consisting of a light source, a lens, and all other parts necessary for operation.

(13)  “Transformer” means a device that consists of two or more coils of insulated wire and that is designed to transfer alternating current by electromagnetic induction from one coil to another to change the original voltage or current value.

(14)  “Unit heater” means a self-contained, vented fan-type commercial space heater that uses natural gas, propane, or fuel oil and that is designed to be installed without ducts within a heated space; except that “unit heater” does not include direct vent, sealed combustion burner, force flue heaters, or any products covered by federal standards pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 6291 et seq.

§ 2794.  Scope

(a)  The provisions of this chapter apply to the following types of new products sold, offered for sale, or installed in the state:

(1)  Commercial clothes washers.

(2)  Commercial refrigerators and freezers.

(3)  Illuminated exit signs.

(4)  Large packaged air-conditioning equipment.

(5)  Low voltage dry-type distribution transformers.

(6)  Torchieres.

(7)  Traffic signal modules.

(8)  Unit heaters.

(9)  Any other products as may be designated by the commissioner in accordance with section 2797 of this title.

(b)  The provisions of this chapter do not apply to:

(1)  New products manufactured in the state and sold outside the state.

(2)  New products manufactured outside the state and sold at wholesale inside the state for final retail sale and installation outside the state.

(3)  Products installed in mobile manufactured homes at the time of construction.

(4)  Products designed expressly for installation and use in recreational vehicles.

§ 2795.  Efficiency standards

Not later than January 1, 2006, the commissioner, in consultation with the secretary of natural resources, shall adopt rules in accordance with the provisions of 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 establishing minimum efficiency standards for the types of new products set forth in section 2794 of this title.  The rules shall provide for the following minimum efficiency standards:

(1)  Commercial clothes washers shall meet the requirements shown in Table P-3 of section 1605.3 of the California Code of Regulations, Title 20:  Division 2, Chapter 4, Article 4 (Appliance Efficiency Regulations that took effect on November 27, 2002).

(2)  Commercial refrigerators and freezers shall meet the August 1, 2004 requirements shown in Table A-6 of section 1605.3 of the California Code of Regulations, Title 20:  Division 2, Chapter 4, Article 4 (Appliance Efficiency Regulations that took effect on November 27, 2002).

(3)  Illuminated exit signs shall meet the Version 2.0 Energy Star Program performance requirements for illuminated exit signs prescribed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

(4)  Large packaged air-conditioning equipment shall meet the Tier 2 efficiency levels of the “Minimum Equipment Efficiencies for Unitary Commercial Air Conditioners” or “Minimum Equipment Efficiencies for Heat Pumps,” as appropriate, developed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, Boston, MA, as in effect on January 1, 2002.

(5)  Low voltage dry-type distribution transformers shall meet the Class 1 efficiency levels for distribution transformers specified in Table 4-2 of the “Guide for Determining Energy Efficiency for Distribution Transformers” published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA Standard TP-1-2002).

(6)  Torchieres shall consume not more than 190 watts and shall not be capable of operating with lamps that total more than 190 watts.

(7)  Red and green traffic signal modules shall meet the product specification of the “Energy Star Program Requirements for Traffic Signals” developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that took effect in February 2001 and shall be installed with compatible, electrically connected signal control interface devices and conflict monitoring systems.  The commissioner, in consultation with the secretary of transportation, may exempt specific traffic signals from this requirement upon a determination that Energy Star compliant traffic signal modules would compromise safe signal operation.

(8)  Unit heaters shall be equipped with an intermittent ignition device and shall have either power venting or an automatic flue damper.

§ 2796.  Implementation

(a)  On or after January 1, 2007, no new product of a type set forth in section 2794 of this title may be sold or offered for sale in the state unless the efficiency of the new product meets or exceeds the efficiency standards set forth in the rules adopted pursuant to section 2795 of this title.  On or after January 1, 2008, no new product of a type set forth in section 2794 of this title may be installed in the state unless the efficiency of the new product meets or exceeds the efficiency standards set forth in the rules adopted pursuant to section 2795 of this title.

(b)  Notwithstanding the dates set out in subsection (a) of this section, implementation of the standard for an individual product of the type set forth in section 2794 of this title shall be suspended until the passage of legislation or the adoption of administrative rules that require equivalent or higher standards for that product in states within New England, including Vermont, with a total population of at least four million people. 

§ 2797.  New and revised standards

The commissioner may establish increased efficiency standards on the products listed in section 2794 of this title.  The commissioner may also establish standards for products not specifically listed in section 2794 of this title.  In considering new or amended standards, the commissioner, in consultation with the secretary of natural resources, shall set efficiency standards upon a determination that increased efficiency standards would serve to promote energy conservation in the state and would be cost-effective for consumers who purchase and use those products, provided no new or increased efficiency standards shall become effective within one year following the adoption of any amended rules providing for such increased efficiency standards.  The commissioner may apply for a waiver of federal preemption in accordance with federal procedures (42 U.S.C. § 6297(d)) for those products regulated by the federal government.

§ 2798.  Testing, certification, labeling, and enforcement

(a)  The commissioner, in consultation with the secretary of natural resources, shall adopt procedures for testing the energy efficiency of the new products covered by section 2794 of this title if such procedures are not provided for in the residential building energy standards adopted under 21 V.S.A. § 266.  The commissioner shall use U.S. Department of Energy approved test methods, or in the absence of such test methods, other appropriate nationally recognized test methods.  The manufacturers of these products shall cause samples of their products to be tested in accordance with the test procedures adopted pursuant to this chapter or those specified in the residential building energy standards.

(b)  Manufacturers of new products covered by section 2794 of this title shall certify to the commissioner that these products are in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.  The commissioner shall adopt rules governing the certification of those products and may coordinate with the certification programs of other states with similar standards.

(c)  Manufacturers of new products covered by section 2794 of this title shall identify each product offered for sale or installation in the state as being in compliance with the provisions of this chapter by means of a mark, label, or tag on the product and packaging at the time of sale or installation.  The commissioner shall adopt rules governing the identification of these products and packaging which shall be coordinated to the greatest practical extent with the labeling programs of other states and federal agencies with equivalent efficiency standards.

(d)  The commissioner may test products covered by section 2794 of this title.  If any product so tested is found not to be in compliance with the minimum efficiency standards established under section 2795 of this title, the commissioner shall:

(1)  Charge the manufacturer of that product for the cost of product purchase and testing.

(2)  Make information available to the public on products found not to be in compliance with the standards.

(e)  The commissioner may cause periodic inspections to be made of distributors or retailers of new products covered by section 2794 of this title in order to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter.  The commissioner shall also coordinate with the residential buildings energy standard program regarding inspections for new products that are also covered by that program. 

(f)  The commissioner shall investigate complaints received concerning violations of this chapter and shall report the results of such investigations to the attorney general.  The attorney general may institute proceedings to enforce the provisions of this chapter.  Any manufacturer, distributor, or retailer who violates any provision of this chapter shall be issued a warning by the commissioner for any first violation.  Repeat violations shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $250.00.  Each violation shall constitute a separate offense, and each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.  Penalties assessed under this subsection are in addition to costs assessed under subsection (d) of this section.

(g)  The commissioner is hereby granted the authority to adopt such further rules as necessary to ensure the proper implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

Sec. 6.  STANDARDS FOR INTERCONNECTION OF DISTRIBUTED                                GENERATION

On or before September 1, 2005, the Public Service Board shall establish by rule or order standard provisions, including applicable fees that are required to cover the total cost of interconnection to be paid by the qualified distributed generator, for agreements providing for interconnection between the facilities of an electric company under the jurisdiction of the board and the facilities of a qualified distributed generator.  The applicable safety, power quality, and interconnection requirement rules adopted by the board pursuant to section 219a of Title 30 shall be utilized in addition to any other requirements necessary to protect public safety and system reliability.  The board may provide that such interconnection agreements may be conditioned in instances where interconnection would cause electric instability on the facilities of the local distribution grid.  For the purposes of this section, “qualified distributed generator” means an electrical generator that has a capacity of less than 50 megawatts, and that is either:

(1)  a renewable generator as defined in section 8002 of Title 30; or

(2)  a generator that is part of a combined heat and power application providing an overall conversion efficiency of 65 percent or greater.

Sec. 7.  ELECTRICITY RELIABILITY POLICY

It shall be the policy of the state of Vermont, in negotiations and policy-making at the New England Independent System Operator, in proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and in all other relevant venues, to support an efficient reliability policy, as follows:

(1)  When cost recovery is sought through regionwide regulated rates or uplift tariffs for power system reliability improvements, all available resources – transmission, strategic generation, targeted energy efficiency, and demand response resources – should be treated comparably in analysis, planning, and access to funding.

(2)  A principal criterion for approving and selecting a solution should be whether it is the lowest-cost solution to a system need on a total cost basis.

(3)  Ratepayers should not be required to pay for system upgrades in other states that do not meet these least-cost and resource-neutral standards.

(4)  For reliability-related projects in Vermont, subject to the review of the public service board, regional financial support should be sought and made available for transmission or distributed resource alternatives to transmission on a resource-neutral basis.

(5)  The public service department, public service board, and attorney general shall advocate for these policies in negotiations and appropriate proceedings before the New England Independent System Operator, the New England Regional Transmission Operator, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and all other appropriate regional and national forums.  This subdivision shall not be construed to compel litigation.

(6)  In addressing reliability problems for the state’s electric system, Vermont distribution utilities and transmission companies shall seek regional cost support for the lowest cost solution with equal consideration and treatment of all available resources, including transmission, strategic distributed generation, targeted energy efficiency, and demand response resources on a total cost basis. 

(7)  The department of public service shall develop and the public service board shall review and adopt a comprehensive, long-term evaluation and plan of Vermont’s transmission system’s future reliability needs and alternative distributed resource solutions on or before December 1, 2006, with identification of the responsibilities of distribution and transmission companies to implement the plan.

Sec. 8.  30 V.S.A. § 218d(n) is added to read:

(n)  The public service board shall by rule or general order establish standards and procedures for revising the rate designs of distribution electric companies to ensure that the financial success of distribution utilities between rate cases is not linked to increased sales to end-use customers and is not harmed by decreases in such sales, especially decreases due to improvements in end-use energy efficiency by Vermont customers.  The board shall issue a proposed rule or general order to implement this section by December 1, 2005.

Sec. 9.  30 V.S.A. § 218e is added to read:

§ 218e.  ELECTRIC COMPANY AND CUSTOMER PETITION FOR

               INDEPENDENT STATUS

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, upon joint petition by an electric company and a customer who in the previous calendar year had a metered peak demand of at least 25,000 kilowatts of electricity in any month, the public service board may, after opportunity for hearing, approve a plan for the customer to negotiate independently its own power supply contracts.  Before doing so, the board shall find that the plan will promote the general good of the state and that the electric rates of the remaining customers of the electric company and other ratepayers will not be increased as a result and shall issue a certificate to that effect.  The board shall ensure that the rates in the plan for electric service of the customer shall include all charges in this title generally applicable to all ratepayers that applied to such a customer before the plan, calculated on the gross electric bill of the customer.  Any such certificate shall also provide that before an independent customer may return as a customer to its jurisdictional utility, the board must find that the conditions of return ensure that the utility’s remaining customers will not incur higher rates or lower service quality as a result.

Sec. 10.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 7 of this act shall take effect on February 1, 2006.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us