S. 92 Relating to Groundwater Mapping..................................................... 1865
Rep. Lavoie Amendment
For Action Under Rule 52
J.R.H. 38 Safety of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs................................. 1866
Favorable with Amendment
S. 97 Relating to Correctional Facilities...................................................... 1866
Rep. Lorber for Institutions
S. 170 Rights of Family Members, Funeral Directors, Crematory................. 1871
Rep. Devereux for Government Operations
Rep. Howard for Ways and Means................................................ 1871
Senate Proposal of Amendment to House Proposal of Amendment
S. 167 Relating to Voter Registration........................................................... 1872
Reports Committees of Conference
H. 154 Relating to Stormwater Management............................................... 1872
H. 229 Corrections & Clarification Health Care Act of 2006....................... 1874
H. 449 Foster Care Services and Supports................................................. 1876
H. 520 Conservation of Energy; Use of Renewable Resources.................... 1877
S. 115 Transparency of Prescription Drug Pricing and Information............... 1925
Resolution to be offered by House Committee on Rules
(See Addendum to House and Senate Calendar)
H.C.R. 142 Crews and Volunteers Who Assisted Rutland Cleanup............. 1927
H.C.R. 143 Honoring 95th Anniversary of Girl Scouting in VT.................... 1927
H.C.R. 144 In Memory if John Dostal of Bennington................................... 1927
H.C.R. 145 Congratulating Southern VT College on 80th Anniversary......... 1927
H.C.R. 146 Congratulating Randolph Destination Imagination Teams........... 1927
H.C.R. 147 Congratulating Nathaniel Soares 2007 AXA Scholarship........... 1927
H.C.R. 148 In Memory of Gary Rosen....................................................... 1927
H.C.R. 149 Honoring John and Joyce Miner Service to VT Veteran’s......... 1927
H.C.R. 150 Honoring Brattleboro Town Manager Jerome M. Remillard...... 1927
H.C.R. 151 Congratulating Pages Hannah McMeekin& Garrett Bauman..... 1927
H.C.R. 152 2007 LUHS Lady Lancers Basketball Team............................ 1928
H.C.R. 153 Congratulating American Cancer Society New Hope Lodge1928.....
H.C.R. 154 Honoring Brattleboro Fire Chief David J. Emery...................... 1928
H.C.R. 155 Congratulating Dorothy McGuire on 100th Birthday................. 1928
H.C.R. 156 Honoring Jane Altobell – 35 Year Shaftsbury School Nurse 1928
H.C.R. 157 Honoring Richford Ass’t Town Clerk Joyce Wetherby............. 1928
H.C.R. 158 Honoring Roger Gendron for Service to Richford Citizens........ 1928
H.C.R. 159 Honoring Gordon DeLong Pittsford Town Clerk/Treasurer...... 1928
H.C.R. 160 In Memory of William H. Leach............................................... 1928
H.C.R. 161 Honoring Margaret Larivee for Service to Richford ................. 1928
H.C.R. 162 Commemorating Catamount School in Bennington ................... 1928
S.C.R. 23 Morgan Lilley and Ethan Verberg USA Diesel Competition1928
S.C.R. 24 Recognizing George Chaffee for Captive Insurance Work......... 1928
An act relating to groundwater mapping.
Proposal of Amendment to House proposal of amendment to be offered by Rep. Lavoie of Swanton to House proposal of amendment to S. 92
Rep. Lavoie of Swanton moves to amend the proposal of amendment of the House by striking Secs. 3 and 4 in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 3. 10 V.S.A. chapter 48, subchapter 6 is added to read:
Subchapter 6. Water Withdrawal Reporting
§ 1417. WATER WITHDRAWAL REPORTING
(a) As used in this subchapter:
(1) “Groundwater” means water below the land surface.
(2) "Withdrawal" means the removal of groundwater from one source by any method or instrument. All groundwater withdrawals from a particular source that are made or controlled by a single person are considered to be a single withdrawal of water.
(b) On or before July 1, 2008, the secretary of natural resources shall conduct a survey of any person withdrawing in excess of 35,000 gallons of groundwater on any day during the previous year ending June 30. The survey shall request information on estimated water use, the purpose or general use of the water withdrawn, the type or method of groundwater withdrawal, and the general location of the withdrawal.
(c) The following are exempt from the survey required under subsection (b) of this section:
(1) A groundwater withdrawal for fire suppression or other public emergency purposes;
(2) A withdrawal for use in farming, as that term is defined in section 6001 of this title;
(3) A withdrawal for use in agricultural or dairy processing;
(4) A withdrawal reported to the agency of natural resources under any program that requires the reporting of substantially similar data; and
(5) Ordinary household use.
Sec. 4. AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT
On or before January 15, 2011, the agency of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources and the senate committee on natural resources and energy with a recommendation as to whether the state should implement a groundwater withdrawal reporting program. If the report recommends a reporting program, the agency of natural resources shall also recommend the parameters of the reporting program, including recommended rulemaking authority for the agency of natural resources.
For Action Under Rule 52
J. R. H. 38
Joint resolution relating to the safety of compact fluorescent light bulbs.
(For text see House Journal May 9, 2007)
Favorable with Amendment
An act relating to correctional facilities.
Rep. Lorber of Burlington, for the Committee on Institutions, recommends that the House propose to the Senate that the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 1. 4 V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:
§ 1102. JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION
* * *
(b) The judicial bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:
* * *
(11) violations of 18 V.S.A. § 4234b(b), relating to selling ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base;
(12) violations of 18 V.S.A. § 4249(f), relating to the introduction of tobacco or tobacco products into a correctional facility.
Sec. 2. 18 V.S.A. § 4249 is amended to read:
§ 4249. TRANSPORTATION
OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, OR
REGULATED DRUGS INTO PLACES OF DETENTION
(a) No person shall knowingly carry or introduce or cause to be carried or introduced into a lockup, jail, prison, or correctional facility:
(1) alcohol, malt or vinous beverages, or spirituous liquor;
(3) a regulated drug, other than marijuana, as defined in section 4201 of this title, except upon the prescription or direction of a practitioner as that term is defined in chapter 36 of Title 26; or
(4) tobacco or tobacco products, except that an employee may possess or store tobacco or tobacco products in a locked automobile parked on the correctional facility grounds, store tobacco or tobacco products in a secure place within the correctional facility which is designated for storage of employee tobacco, and possess tobacco or tobacco products in a designated smoking area.
(b) A person who violates subdivision (a)(1) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than three months or fined not more than $300.00, or both.
(c) A person who violates subdivision (a)(2) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $500.00, or both.
(d) A person who violates subdivision (a)(3) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.
(e) A person who violates subdivision (a)(4) of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $450.00 for the first offense and $900.00 for any subsequent offense. An action under this subsection shall be brought in the same manner as for a traffic violation pursuant to chapter 24 of Title 23.
(f) As used in this section, “correctional facility” means any secure or staff-secure building, enclosure, space, or structure of or supported by the department and used for the confinement of persons committed to the custody of the commissioner of corrections, or for any other matter related to such confinement.
Sec. 3. 28 V.S.A. § 802 is amended to read:
§ 802. CORRESPONDENCE OF INMATES
(a) Any authorized employee of any correctional facility shall have the right to inspect all correspondence by or to inmates of the facility. The employee shall have the right to withhold and prevent the transmission of material intended to be sent through the mails by or to an inmate if the material is contraband as defined by the rules of the facility or constitutes a clear and present danger to the security of the facility.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any correspondence from an inmate to any public official of the state or of the United States, shall not be impeded in its transmission, nor shall it be inspected, opened, copied, duplicated, photographed, or examined in any way.
(c) An inmate shall not correspond through the mail with another inmate committed to the custody and supervision of the department of corrections, whether in the same facility or in a different facility, except as follows:
(1) To communicate with immediate family members who are inmates also in the custody and supervision of the department of corrections, subject to the prior approval of the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.
(2) To communicate with other inmates where the inmate’s classification or treatment team deems the correspondence in the best interests of both parties.
(3) To communicate with another inmate regarding legal matters, so long as the superintendent or his or her designee knows the second inmate customarily offers legal advice to other inmates.
(4) To correspond with other inmates, so long as the correspondence has been approved by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee at his or her sole discretion.
(d) Negative contact list.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, an inmate incarcerated at a department of corrections facility shall not correspond through the mail with any individual on the department of corrections’ negative contact list.
(2) An individual may be added to the negative contact list by notifying the department of corrections in writing that he or she does not wish to receive any correspondence through the mail from a particular inmate.
(3) A parent or authorized legal guardian of a minor may add the minor child to the negative contact list of any inmate who is not the parent of the child by notifying the department of corrections in writing that he or she does not wish the minor child to receive any correspondence through the mail from a particular inmate. If the inmate is a parent of the minor, the inmate shall have the right to have contact with the minor, unless the inmate is prohibited by court order from contacting the child.
Sec. 4. 28 V.S.A. § 120(h) is amended to read:
(h) Required participation. All persons under the custody of the
commissioner of corrections who are under the age of
22 23 and
have not received a high school diploma shall participate in the education
program unless exempted by the commissioner.
Sec. 5. 2 V.S.A. § 801 (b) and (c) are amended to read:
§ 801. CREATION OF COMMITTEE
* * *
(b) The committee shall be composed of
10 members: four five members of the house of
representatives, who shall not all be from the same party, appointed by the
speaker of the house; and four five members of the senate, who
shall not all be from the same party, appointed by the committee on
committees. In addition to one member‑at‑large appointed from each
chamber, one appointment shall be made from each of the following house and
senate committees: appropriations, judiciary, and institutions, the
senate committee on health and welfare, and the house committee on human
The committee shall elect a chair, vice chair, and clerk from among its members
and shall adopt rules of procedure. The chair shall rotate biennially between
the house and the senate members. The committee shall keep minutes of its
meetings and maintain a file thereof. A quorum shall consist of
* * *
Sec. 6. JOINT LEGISLATIVE CORRECTIONS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE; MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES; REDUCTION OF RECIDIVISM
(a) During the 2007 interim, the joint legislative corrections oversight committee shall engage policymakers, social scientists, and interested persons to:
(1) gather and review current and accurate data of the prevalence of current and recent inmates with serious mental illness, use the data to project the future acute care needs of all persons with serious mental illnesses who are or will be committed to corrections’ custody, and develop recommendations for legislative change that will meet these needs; and
(2) develop a strategic plan to reduce the number of Vermont offenders confined to corrections facilities by 30 percent within the ensuing 10‑year period.
(b) In working with data under subdivision (a)(1) of this section, the committee shall:
(1) Study the number of mental health hospital beds needed, including those required by:
(A) Inmates with acute mental health treatment needs.
(B) Criminal defendants committed for pre‑trial forensic evaluation in an inpatient setting.
(C) Criminal defendants found incompetent to stand trial or insane at the time of the offense.
(2) Review policies from other states that address issues of mental health in inmate populations. The committee may consult with the National Council of State Legislatures or the Council of State Governments to meet the requirements of this subdivision.
(3) Consider whether a separate inpatient psychiatric facility, administered by the agency of human services, for inmates with severe mental illness would address the mental health needs of the inmate population.
(4) Consider whether “serious mental illness,” as defined in subdivision 906(1) of Title 28, should be amended to include other mental impairments that significantly and negatively affect daily functioning, including all forms of developmental disabilities, mental retardation, traumatic brain injury, autism, and various forms of dementia.
(5) Review the department of corrections’ policies governing the administration of drugs prescribed to treat mental health issues among the inmate population, including:
(A) The economic cost of current prescription policies.
(B) The effectiveness of prescription drugs in treating mental illness within the inmate population.
(C) Current trends in the use of particular categories of drugs to treat mental illness within the inmate population.
(D) The department’s policies regarding off‑label usage of prescription drugs.
(c) In preparing the strategic plan required by subdivision (a)(2) of this section, the committee shall:
(1) Include projections for incarceration rates based on current department of corrections’ practices;
(2) Identify programs that aim to reduce recidivism and prevent crime;
(3) Consider alternatives to current sentencing practices, particularly for nonviolent, first‑time offenders;
(4) Consult with interested persons and experts in the field to determine best practices which might lead to successful implementation of the strategic plan;
(5) Develop cost estimates of any resources needed to implement the strategic plan; and
(6) Include in its report a draft of any legislative action recommended to implement the strategic plan.
(d) The committee shall report to the general assembly:
(1) data gathered pursuant to subdivision (a)(1) of this section and its findings and recommendations for legislative action on or before October 15, 2007, and
(2) the strategic plan developed pursuant to subdivision (a)(2) of this section on or before January 15, 2008.
Sec. 7. COMMISSIONER OF
CORRECTIONS; COMMISSIONER OF
EDUCATION; MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
On or before January 15, 2008, the commissioner of corrections and the commissioner of education shall provide to the house committee on institutions, the senate committee on judiciary, and the senate and house committees on education a copy of a memorandum of understanding executed and signed by the two commissioners as required by an interagency agreement required under Part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The memorandum shall describe the legal, service provision, financial, and accounting roles and responsibilities of each of their agencies regarding special education services delivery by the Community High School of Vermont.
(Committee vote: 10-0-1)
(For text see House Journal March 21, 2007 – P. 275-280)
An act relating to the rights of family members, funeral directors and crematory operators concerning the disposition of bodily remains and funeral goods and services.
of Mount Holly, for the Committee on Government Operations,
recommends the House propose to the Senate the bill be amended in Sec. 5,
18 V.S.A. § 5201(c), after the words “in Vermont until the person” by
adding the words “in charge of the body” and after the words “
in charge of the body” by striking the words “by the”.
Rep. Howard of Rutland City, for the Committee on Ways and Means, recommends the bill ought to pass in concurrence when amended as recommended by the Committee on Government Operations.
(Committee vote: 8-0-3)
(For text see Senate Journal March 27, 2007 – P.305; March 28 P. 321 )
Senate Proposal of Amendment to House Proposal of Amendment
An act relating to voter registration.
The Senate has concurred in the House proposal of amendment with the following amendment thereto:
By striking out Secs. 2, 3, 4, 4a, 5 and 5a in their entirety.
Reports Committees of Conference
The Committee of Conference, to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House Bill, entitled:
AN ACT RELATING TO STORMWATER MANAGEMENT.
Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the House recede from its further proposal amendment in its concurrence and that the bill be amended as follows:
First: In Sec. 1, 10 V.S.A. § 1264(f)(3), by striking out “January 15, 2009” where it appears in the first sentence and inserting in lieu thereof “January 15, 2010”
Second: By striking out Sec. 3 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Sec. 3. EXTENSION OF SUNSET OF INTERIM STORMWATER
PERMITTING PROGRAM AND CONVEYANCE OF REAL
ESTATE WITH STORMWATER PERMITS
Sec. 10 of No. 140 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004), as amended by Sec. 8 of No. 154 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006), is further amended to read:
Sec. 10. SUNSET
(a) Sec. 2 of this act (interim permitting authority for regulated
stormwater runoff), except for subsection 1264a(e) of Title 10, shall be
September 30, 2007 January 15, 2010.
(b) Sec. 4 of this act (local communities implementation fund) shall be repealed on September 30, 2012.
(c) Sec. 6 of this act (stormwater discharge permits during transition
period) shall be repealed on
September 30, 2007 January 15, 2010.
Third: In Sec. 4, by striking the first sentence of subsection (a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Beginning January 15, 2008, and every two years thereafter, the agency of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources, the senate committee on natural resources and energy, and the house and senate committees on agriculture regarding agency progress in establishing and implementing the total maximum daily load (TMDL) plan for Lake Champlain.
Fourth: By adding Secs. 6a, 6b, and 6c to read as follows:
Sec. 6a. 10 V.S.A. § 1251a(c) is added to read:
(c) On or before January 15, 2008, the secretary of natural resources shall propose draft rules for an implementation process for the antidegradation policy in the water quality standards of the state. The implementation process for the antidegradation policy shall be consistent with the state water quality policy established in section 1250 of this title, the Vermont water quality standards, and any applicable requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. On or before July 1, 2008, a final proposal of the rules for an implementation process for the antidegradation policy shall be filed with the secretary of state under 1 V.S.A. § 841.
Sec. 6b. AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT ON
On or before January 15, 2008, the agency of natural resources shall report to the senate committee on natural resources and energy and the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources with a written proposal for utilizing the implementation process for the antidegradation policy required under 10 V.S.A. § 1251a to update the 17 basin plans of the state. The report shall include:
(1) A proposed, written procedure for utilizing the antidegradation implementation process to conduct basin planning;
(2) A summary of the benefits and disadvantages of utilizing the antidegradation process to conduct basin planning;
(3) An estimate of the cost to the agency of natural resources to conduct basin planning through utilization of the antidegradation process; and
(4) Any proposed amendments to the Vermont water quality standards that may be necessary to conduct basin planning using the antidegradation implementation process.
Sec. 6c. ADOPTION OF BASIN PLANS WITHOUT WATER MANAGEMENT TYPES
Notwithstanding the requirements of 10 V.S.A. § 1253(d) and subsection 1-02(D)(5) of the Vermont water quality standards, the secretary of natural resources, prior to July 1, 2008, may adopt revised basin plans for the basin of the West, Williams, and Saxton rivers and the basin of the Stevens, Wells, Waits, and Ompompanoosuc rivers without including proposals for water management types in Class B waters, provided that the plans adopted under this section shall be revised within two years of adoption and, upon revision, shall propose water management types or an alternative method of protecting water quality.
Fifth: In Sec. 7, by striking “and 6 (clean and clear action plan audit) of this act shall take effect upon passage” where it appears and inserting in lieu thereof “6 (clean and clear action plan audit), 6a (antidegradation implementation procedure), 6b (agency of natural resources report on basin planning), 6c (adoption of basin plans without water management types) of this act shall take effect upon passage”
Virginia Lyons Loren Shaw
Robert Hartwell David Deen
Diane Snelling Diane Snelling
Committee on the part of the Senate Committee on the part of the House
The Committee of Conference, to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House Bill, entitled:
AN ACT RELATING TO CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS TO THE HEALTH CARE AFFORDABILITY ACT OF 2006 AND RELATED LEGISLATION.
Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the House accede to the Senate proposals of amendment, with the following additional amendments:
First: By striking out Sec. 11 and inserting a new Sec. 11 to read:
Sec. 11. 33 V.S.A. § 1974(b) and (c) are amended to read:
(b) VHAP‑eligible premium assistance.
* * *
(3) The agency shall determine whether it is cost‑effective to the state to enroll an individual in an approved employer‑sponsored insurance plan with the premium assistance under this subsection as compared to enrolling the individual in the Vermont health access plan. If the agency determines that it is cost‑effective, the individual shall be required to enroll in the approved employer‑sponsored plan as a condition of continued assistance under this section or coverage under the Vermont health access plan, except that dependents who are children of eligible individuals shall not be required to enroll in the premium assistance program. Notwithstanding this requirement, an individual shall be provided benefits under the Vermont health access plan until the next open enrollment period offered by the employer or insurer. The agency shall not consider the medical history, medical conditions, or claims history of any individual for whom cost‑effectiveness is being evaluated.
(c) Uninsured individuals; premium assistance.
(1) For the purposes of this subsection:
* * *
(B) “Uninsured” means an individual who does not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, the Vermont health access plan, or Dr. Dynasaur and had no private insurance or employer‑sponsored coverage that includes both hospital and physician services within 12 months prior to the month of application, or lost private insurance or employer‑sponsored coverage during the prior 12 months for the following reasons:
(i) the individual’s coverage ended because of:
(I) loss of employment, unless the employer has terminated its employees for the primary purpose of discontinuing employer‑sponsored coverage and establishing their eligibility for Catamount Health;
(II) death of the principal insurance policyholder;
(III) divorce or dissolution of a civil union;
(IV) no longer qualifying as a dependent under the plan of a parent or caretaker relative; or
(V) no longer
qualifying for receiving
COBRA, VIPER, or other state continuation coverage; or
(ii) college‑ or university‑sponsored health insurance became unavailable to the individual because the individual graduated, took a leave of absence, or otherwise terminated studies.
* * *
(5) The agency shall determine whether it is cost‑effective to the state to require the individual to purchase the approved employer‑sponsored insurance plan with premium assistance under this subsection instead of Catamount Health established in section 4080f of Title 8 with assistance under subchapter 3a of chapter 19 of this title. If providing the individual with assistance to purchase Catamount Health is more cost‑effective to the state than providing the individual with premium assistance to purchase the individual’s approved employer‑sponsored plan, the state shall provide the individual the option of purchasing Catamount Health with assistance for that product. An individual may purchase Catamount Health and receive Catamount Health assistance until the approved employer‑sponsored plan has an open enrollment period, but the individual shall be required to enroll in the approved employer‑sponsored plan in order to continue to receive any assistance. The agency shall not consider the medical history, medical conditions, or claims history of any individual for whom cost‑effectiveness is being evaluated.
Second: In Sec. 27, 21 V.S.A. § 2002 (definitions), at the end of subdivision (3), by striking “that is not supported by state funding” and inserting in lieu thereof “except VHAP or Medicaid”
Third: In Sec. 27, 21 V.S.A. § 2002 (definitions), in subdivision (4)(A), by striking “fewer than 20 weeks” and inserting “20 weeks or fewer”
Fourth: In Sec. 27, 21 V.S.A. § 2003 (health care fund contribution assessment), in subsection (c), after the fourth sentence, by adding “The department shall develop a form that inquires of the health coverage status of an employee in a manner that, to the greatest extent possible, preserves the confidentiality of the type of coverage possessed by the employee. For the purpose of the employer assessment, employers shall only use this form to determine the health coverage status of an employee.
Fifth: In Sec. 28, 21 V.S.A. § 561 (health coverage status discrimination prohibited), in subdivision (b)(1), after “among applicants”, by adding “or employees” and in subdivision (b)(2)(B), before the period, by adding “, provided that the inquiry conforms to the employer obligations in chapter 25 of this title”
Committee on the part of the Senate
Committee on the part of the House
The Committee of Conference, to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon House Bill, entitled:
AN ACT RELATING TO FOSTER CARE SERVICES AND SUPPORTS.
Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the House accede to the Senate proposal of amendment with further amendment by striking the existing Sec. 3 and inserting new Secs. 3, 4, and 5 to read:
Sec. 3. 33 V.S.A. § 1901(f) is added to read:
(f) The secretary shall not impose a prescription co-payment for individuals under age 21 enrolled in Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur.
Sec. 4. STUDY ON TRANSITIONAL SERVICES FOR YOUTHS
The secretary of administration, in consultation with the secretary of human services, the commissioner of labor, the commissioner of disabilities, aging, and independent living, the commissioner of corrections, the commissioner for children and families, and the commissioner of education, shall study the costs and benefits of providing necessary transitional services up to age 22 for a youth who has a functional developmental disability and has been receiving state-funded services or services under an individualized education program (IEP) on or before the youth’s 18th birthday; or has been receiving state-funded services for severe emotional disturbance on or before his or her 18th birthday; in order to assist the youth in becoming a self-sufficient adult. The secretary of administration shall solicit and summarize in his or her final report input from consumers, providers, and representatives of disability organizations, including the Vermont federation of families for mental health, the Vermont coalition of disability rights, the Vermont council of developmental and mental health services, and the Vermont developmental disabilities council. The secretary of administration shall report the results of this study to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare not later than November 30, 2007.
Sec. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall become effective upon passage.
Douglas Racine Ann Pugh
Edward Flanagan Patsy French
Kevin Mullin Norman McAllister
Committee on the part of the Senate Committee on the part of the House
AN ACT RELATING TO the conservation of energy and increasing the generation of electricity within the state by use of renewable resources.
Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the Senate recede from its proposals of amendment and the bill be amended by striking in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following;
Sec. 1. DESIGNATION OF ACT
This act shall be referred to as “ the Vermont energy efficiency and affordability act.”
Sec. 2. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS
The general assembly finds that:
(1) Global climate change, which is threatening our environment and perhaps ultimately our existence, has been caused in part by an energy policy that is largely dependent on the burning of fossil fuels.
(2) In order to slow or stop climate change, it is essential that we reduce or eliminate our dependency on fossil fuels by significantly improving energy efficiency and shifting to nonpolluting benign forms of energy such as wind, sun, and water power.
(3) In order for Vermont to meet the greenhouse gas reduction goals set by the conference of the New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers’ climate change action plan, Vermont needs to provide effective weatherization services, new funding strategies, green building practices, and installation of renewable energy systems.
(4) The “Vermont energy efficiency potential study for non-regulated fuels” recently completed by the department of public service indicates that Vermont has cost-effective potential energy savings of $486 million over the next ten years with 63 percent of those savings from building shell improvements.
(5) Although workforce development in the field of green building, renewable energy, and energy efficiency is an essential component of the battle to combat global climate change, there are few trained applicants to fill the new well-paying jobs being created in this field.
(6) The “Next Generation” report stated that Vermont must implement strategies to expand its skilled workforce and approach the future by integrating economic development, workforce development, and education policies.
* * * Renewable Energy Goal * * *
Sec. 3. 10 V.S.A. § 579 is added to read:
§ 579. 25 BY 25 STATE GOAL
(a) It is a goal of the state, by the year 2025, to produce 25 percent of the energy consumed within the state through the use of renewable energy sources, particularly from Vermont’s farms and forests.
(b) By no later than January 15, 2008, the commissioner of public service, in consultation with the secretary of agriculture, food and markets and the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation, shall present to the committees on agriculture and natural resources and energy of the general assembly a plan for attaining this goal. Plan updates shall be presented no less frequently than every three years, thereafter, and a progress report shall be due annually on January 15.
(c) By no later than January 15, 2008, the department of public service shall present to the legislative committees on natural resources and energy an updated comprehensive energy plan which shall give due consideration to the public engagement process required under 30 V.S.A. § 254 and under Sec. 2 of No. 208 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006). By that time, the department of public service shall incorporate plans adopted under this section into the state comprehensive energy plan adopted under 30 V.S.A. § 202b.
* * * Act 250 Definition of Farming * * *
Sec. 4. 10 V.S.A. § 6001(22) is amended to read:
(22) “Farming” means:
(A) the cultivation or other use of land for growing food, fiber, Christmas trees, maple sap, or horticultural and orchard crops; or
(B) the raising, feeding, or management of livestock, poultry, fish, or bees; or
(C) the operation of greenhouses; or
(D) the production of maple syrup; or
(E) the on‑site storage, preparation and sale of agricultural products principally produced on the farm; or
(F) the on‑site storage, preparation, production, and sale of fuel or power from agricultural products or wastes principally produced on the farm; or
(G) the raising, feeding, or management of four or more equines owned or boarded by the farmer, including training, showing, and providing instruction and lessons in riding, training, and the management of equines.
* * * Agriculture Development Funds * * *
Sec. 5. 6 V.S.A. § 4710(g)(3) is amended to read:
(3) Assistance from the agricultural economic development special account shall be available for:
(A) Business and technical assistance for research and planning to aid a farmer or a group of farmers in developing business enterprises that harvest biomass, convert biomass to energy, or produce biofuel;
Implementation Cost‑effective implementation
assistance to leverage other sources of capital to assist a farmer or group of
farmers in purchasing equipment, technology, or other assistance to produce
agricultural energy, harvest biomass, or convert biomass into energy,
or enable installation and usage of wind, solar, or other technology that
relies on a resource that is being consumed at a harvest rate at or below its
natural regeneration rate pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 8002(2); and
* * *
* * * Commercial Building Energy Standards * * *
Sec. 6. 21 V.S.A. § 268 is amended to read:
§ 268. COMMERCIAL BUILDING ENERGY STANDARDS
(a) Definitions. For purposes of this subchapter, “commercial buildings” means all buildings that are not residential buildings as defined in subdivision 266(a)(2) of this title or farm structures as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 4413.
(1) The following commercial buildings, or portions of those buildings, separated from the remainder of the building by thermal envelope assemblies complying with this section shall be exempt from the building thermal envelope provisions of the standards:
(A) Those that do not contain conditioned space.
(B) Those with a peak design rate of energy usage less than an amount specified in the commercial building energy standards (CBES) adopted under subsection (b) of this section.
(2) These standards shall not apply to equipment or portions of building
energy systems that use energy primarily to provide for industrial
manufacturing , or commercial processes.
(b) Adoption of commercial building energy standards. Commercial
building construction with respect to which
no state or any local
building permit application or application for construction plan
approval by the commissioner of public safety pursuant to 20 V.S.A. chapter 173
has been submitted on or after January 1, 2007 shall be designed and
constructed in substantial compliance with the standards contained
in the 2005 Vermont Guidelines for Energy Efficient Commercial Construction, as
those standards may be amended by administrative rule adopted by the
commissioner of public service.
(c) Revision and interpretation of energy standards. On or about
January 1, 2009, and at least every three years thereafter, the commissioner of
public service shall amend and update the CBES by means of administrative rules
adopted in accordance with 3 V.S.A. chapter 25. At least a year prior to final
adoption of each required revision of the CBES, the department of public
service shall convene an advisory committee to include one or more mortgage lenders
builders ,; building designers ,; architects; civil,
mechanical, and electrical engineers; utility representatives ,;
and other persons with experience and expertise, such as consumer advocates and
energy conservation experts. The advisory committee may provide the
commissioner of public service with additional recommendations for revision of
(1) Any amendments to the CBES shall be:
(A) Consistent with duly adopted state energy policy, as specified in 30 V.S.A. § 202a.
(B) Evaluated relative to their technical applicability and reliability.
(2) Each time the CBES are amended by the commissioner of public
service, the amended CBES shall become effective upon a date specified in the
adopted rule, a date that shall not be less than three months after the date of
adoption. Persons submitting an application for any
state or local
permit authorizing commercial construction, or an application for
construction plan approval by the commissioner of public safety pursuant to 20
V.S.A. chapter 173, before the effective date of the amended CBES shall
have the option of complying with the applicable provisions of the earlier or
the amended CBES. After the effective date of the original or the amended
CBES, any person submitting such an application for any state or
local permit authorizing commercial construction in an area subject to the
CBES shall comply with the most recent version of the CBES.
(3) The advisory committee convened under this subsection, in preparing for the CBES updates, shall advise the department of public service with respect to the coordination of the CBES amendments with existing and proposed demand‑side management programs offered in the state.
(4) The commissioner of public service is authorized to adopt rules interpreting and implementing the CBES.
(5) The commissioner of public service may grant written variances or exemptions from the CBES or rules adopted under this section where strict compliance would entail practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship, or is otherwise found unwarranted, provided that:
(A) Any such variance or exemption shall be consistent with state energy policy, as specified in 30 V.S.A. § 202a.
(B) Any petitioner for such a variance or exemption can demonstrate that the methods, means, or practices proposed to be taken in lieu of compliance with the rule or rules provide, in the opinion of the commissioner, equal energy efficiency to that attained by compliance with the rule or rules.
(C) A copy of any such variance or exemption shall be recorded by the petitioner in the land records of the city or town in which the building is located.
(D) A record of each variance or exemption shall be maintained by the commissioner, together with the certifications received by the commissioner.
(d) Certification requirement.
(1) The design of commercial buildings shall be certified by
the primary designer as compliant with CBES in accordance with this
subsection, except as compliance is excused by a variance or exemption
issued under subdivision (c)(5) of this section.
A If applicable
law requires that the primary designer be a licensed professional engineer,
licensed architect, or other licensed professional, a member of a pertinent
licensed profession shall issue this certification. If one or more licensed
professional engineers or licensed architects is involved in the design of the
project, then one of these licensees shall issue this certificate. certification
may be issued by a builder, a licensed professional engineer, or a licensed
architect. If certification is not issued by a licensed
professional engineer or a licensed architect is not involved in designing
the project, it certification shall be issued by the
builder. Any certification shall be accompanied by an affidavit and shall
certify that the designer acted in accordance with the designer’s
professional duty of care in designing the building, and that the
commercial construction meets building was designed in substantial
compliance with the requirements of the CBES. The department of public
service will develop and make available to the public a certificate that lists
key features requirements of the CBES, sets forth certifying
language in accordance with this subdivision and requires disclosure of persons
relied upon by the primary designer who have contracted to indemnify the
primary designer for damages arising out of that reliance. Any person
certifying under this subdivision shall use this certificate or one
substantially like it to certify compliance with CBES satisfy these
certification obligations. Certification shall be issued by completing and
signing a certificate and permanently affixing it to the outside of the heating
or cooling equipment, to the electrical service panel located inside the
building, or in a visible location in the vicinity of one of these three
areas. The certificate shall certify that the building has been constructed
in compliance with the requirements of the CBES. The person certifying under
this subsection shall provide a copy of each certificate to the department of
public service and shall assure that a certificate is recorded and indexed in
the town land records. A builder may contract with a licensed professional
engineer or a licensed architect to issue certification and to indemnify the
builder from any liability to the owner of the commercial construction caused
by noncompliance with the CBES. In certifying under this subsection,
the certifying person may reasonably rely on one or more supporting affidavits
received from other persons that contributed to the design affirming that the
portions of the design produced by them were properly certifiable under this
subsection. The certifying person may contract for indemnification from those
on which the person relies pursuant to this subdivision (1) against damages
arising out of that reliance. This indemnification shall not limit any rights
of action of an aggrieved party.
(2) The construction of a commercial building shall be certified as compliant with CBES in accordance with this subsection, except as compliance is excused by a variance or exemption issued under subdivision (c)(5) of this section. This certification shall be issued by the general contractor, construction manager, or other party having primary responsibility for coordinating the construction of the subject building, or in the absence of such a person, by the owner of the building. Any certification shall be accompanied by an affidavit and shall certify that the subject commercial building was constructed in accordance with the ordinary standard of care applicable to the participating construction trades, and that the subject commercial building was constructed substantially in accordance with the construction documents including the plans and specifications certified under subdivision (1) of this subsection for that building. The department of public service will develop and make available to the public a certificate that sets forth certifying language in accordance with this subdivision, and that requires disclosure of persons who have been relied upon by the person with primary responsibility for coordinating the construction of the building and who have contracted to indemnify that person for damages arising out of that reliance. The person certifying under this subdivision shall use that certificate or one substantially like it to satisfy these certification obligations. Certification shall be issued by completing and signing a certificate and permanently affixing it to the outside of the heating or cooling equipment, to the electrical service panel located inside the building, or in a visible location in the vicinity of one of these three areas. In certifying under this subdivision, the certifying person may reasonably rely on one or more supporting affidavits received from subcontractors or others engaged in the construction of the subject commercial building affirming that the portions of the building constructed by them were properly certifiable under this subdivision. The certifying person may contract for indemnification from those on which the person relies pursuant to this subdivision (2) against damages arising out of that reliance. This indemnification shall not limit any rights of action of an aggrieved party.
(3) Any person certifying under this subsection shall provide a copy of the person’s certificate and any accompanying affidavit to the department of public service.
(4) A certificate issued pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection and a certificate issued pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be conditions precedent to issuance by the commissioner of public safety (or a municipal official acting under 20 V.S.A. § 2736) of any final occupancy permit required by the rules of the commissioner of public safety for use or occupancy of a commercial building that is also a public building as defined in 20 V.S.A. § 2730(a).
Action Private right of action for damages against
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a person aggrieved
noncompliance with this section another person’s breach of that
other person’s representations contained in a certification or supporting
affidavit issued or received as provided under subsection (d) of this section,
within ten years after the earlier of completion of construction or occupancy
of the affected commercial building or portion of that building, may bring
a civil action in superior court against a person who has the an
obligation of certifying compliance under subsection (d) of this section alleging
breach of the representations contained in that person’s certification.
This action may seek injunctive relief, damages arising from the aggrieved
party’s reliance on the accuracy of those representations, court costs, and
reasonable attorneys’ fees in an amount to be determined by the court.
As used in this subdivision, “damages” means: (A) includes costs incidental to increased energy
consumption ; and (B) labor, materials, and other expenses associated with bringing the
structure into compliance with CBES in effect on the date construction was
(2) A person’s failure to affix the certification as required by this section shall not be an affirmative defense in such an action against the person.
(3) The rights and remedies created by this section shall not be construed to limit any rights and remedies otherwise provided by law.
(4) The right of action established in this subsection may not be waived by contract or other agreement.
(5) It shall be a defense to an action under this subsection that either at the time of completion or at any time thereafter, the commercial building or portion of building covered by a certificate under subsection (d) of this section, as actually constructed, met or exceeded the overall performance standards established in the CBES in effect on the date construction was commenced.
Violation of section State or local enforcements. Any
person who falsely certifies knowingly makes a false certification
under subsection (d) of this section, or any builder party
who fails to certify under subsection (d) of this section when required
to do so, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $250.00 per
day, up to $10,000.00 for each year the violation continues. Each
violation shall constitute a separate offense, and each day that the violation
continues shall constitute a separate offense.
validity not affected. A defect in marketable title shall not be created by a
failure to record a variance or exemption pursuant to
subdivision (c)(5) of this section, by a failure to issue
certification or a certificate, as required under subsection (d) of this
section, or by a failure under that subsection to: affix a certificate
or provide a copy of a certificate to the department of public service ;
or record and index a certificate in the town records.
* * * Smart Metering * * *
Sec. 7. SMART METERING INVESTIGATION
(a) The public service board shall investigate opportunities for Vermont electric utilities cost‑effectively to install advanced “smart” metering equipment capable of sending two‑way signals and sufficient to support advanced time‑of‑use pricing during periods of critical peaks or hourly differentiated time‑of‑use pricing.
(b) The scope of the investigation shall include the following:
(1) The current status of implementing either advanced time‑of‑use rate designs or advanced metering by Vermont utilities.
(2) Analysis of experience from other state jurisdictions and individual utility experience in planning and implementing programs that promote advanced time‑of‑use rate designs or advanced metering.
(3) Opportunities for exploring ways to design pilot programs and share experience among Vermont utilities with the deployment of advanced meters and rate designs.
(4) Analysis of all costs and benefits of installing advanced metering equipment, giving due consideration to the circumstances that differentiate Vermont utilities.
(5) Analysis of opportunities for reducing rates in the short and long term or mitigating rate impacts of investments in advanced metering and ancillary equipment through advanced time‑of‑use rate designs enabled by these investments.
(6) Analysis of constraints or barriers to implementing this subsection, or opportunities presented by further deferring plans or commitments toward advanced metering equipment or rates.
(7) Analysis of all supporting and ancillary equipment, equipment standards, and efficiency programs necessary to ensure that customers are adequately and effectively empowered to use and respond cost‑effectively to price signals made possible through advanced metering equipment.
(c) After investigation, in utility territories where the board concludes it appropriate and cost‑effective, the board shall require each Vermont utility to file plans for investment and deployment of appropriate technologies and plans and strategies for implementing advanced pricing with a goal of ensuring that all ratepayer classes have an opportunity to receive and participate effectively in advanced time‑of‑use pricing plans.
(d) By January 15, 2008, the public service board shall report to the senate and house committees on natural resources and energy with regard to interim progress in its investigation and measures already implemented under this section.
(e) By June 15, 2008, the board shall issue a final report and plan for implementation.
* * * Conservation Rates * * *
Sec. 8. 30 V.S.A. § 218(b) is amended to read:
(b) The department of public service shall propose, and the board
through the establishment of rates of return, rates, tolls, charges, or
schedules shall encourage the implementation by electric and gas utilities of
energy‑efficiency and load management measures which will be cost‑effective
for the utilities and their customers on a life cycle cost basis. The board
shall approve rate designs to encourage the efficient use of natural gas and
(1) To implement the requirements of this subsection, the public service board shall host one or more workshops to examine the following:
(A) the parameters for residential inclining block rate designs;
(B) alternative rate designs, such as critical peak pricing programs or more widespread use of time‑of‑day rates, that would encourage more efficient use of electricity;
(C) the possible inclusion of exemptions from otherwise applicable inclining block rates or rate designs to encourage efficiency for situations in which special health needs or another extraordinary situation presents such a significant demand for electricity that the board determines use of those rates would cause undue financial hardship for the customer;
(2) By June 15, 2008, the board shall issue a report and plan for implementation based upon the results of its investigation. The plan shall require each retail company to upgrade its rates as necessary to implement new rate designs appropriate to encourage efficient energy use, which shall include residential inclining block rates, if the board determines that those rates would be appropriate, by a specified date, or as part of its next rate‑related appearance before the board, or according to a timetable otherwise specified by the board. In implementing these rate designs, the board shall consider the appropriateness of phasing in the rate design changes to allow large users of energy a reasonable opportunity to employ methods of conservation and energy efficiency in advance of the full effect of the changes.
* * * Net Metering * * *
Sec. 9. 30 V.S.A. § 219a is amended to read:
§ 219a. SELF‑GENERATION AND NET METERING
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Customer” means a retail electric consumer who uses a net metering system.
(2) “Net metering” means measuring the difference between the electricity supplied to a customer and the electricity fed back by a net metering system during the customer’s billing period:
(A) using a single, nondemand meter or such other meter that would otherwise be applicable to the customer’s usage but for the use of net metering; or
(B) on farm or group systems, using multiple meters as specified in this chapter. The calculation will be made by converting all meters to a nondemand, nontime‑of‑day meter, and equalizing them to the tariffed kilowatt‑hour rate.
(3) “Net metering system” means a facility for generation of electricity that:
(A) is of no more than
150 kilowatts (AC) capacity , or is a farm system;
* * *
(E)(i) employs a renewable energy source as defined in subdivision 8002(2) of this title; or
(ii) is a qualified micro-combined heat and power system of 20 kilowatts or less that meets the definition of combined heat and power in 10 V.S.A. § 6523(b) and may use any fuel source that meets air quality standards.
system” means a facility of no more than
150 250 kilowatts (AC)
output capacity, except as provided in subdivision (k)(5) of this section, that
generates electric energy on a farm operated by a person principally engaged in
the business of farming, as that term is defined in Regulation 1.175‑3 of
the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, from the anaerobic digestion of agricultural
products, byproducts, or wastes, or other renewable sources as defined in
subdivision (3)(E) of this subsection, intended to offset the meters designated
under subdivision (g)(1)(A) of this section on the farm or has entered into a
contract as specified in subsection (k) of this section.
(b) A customer shall pay the same rates, fees, or other payments and be subject to the same conditions and requirements as all other purchasers from the electric company in the same rate‑class, except as provided for in this section, and except for appropriate and necessary conditions approved by the board for the safety and reliability of the electric distribution system.
* * *
(f) Consistent with the other provisions of this title, electric energy measurement for net metering farm or group net metering systems shall be calculated in the following manner:
(1) Net metering customers that are farm or group net metering systems may credit on‑site generation against all meters designated to the farm system or group net metering system under subdivision (g)(1)(A) of this section.
(2) Electric energy measurement for farm or group net metering systems shall be calculated by subtracting total usage of all meters included in the farm or group net metering system from total generation by the farm or group net metering system. If the electricity generated by the farm or group net metering system is less than the total usage of all meters included in the farm or group net metering system during the billing period, the farm or group net metering system shall be credited for any accumulated kilowatt‑hour credit and then billed for the net electricity supplied by the electric company, in accordance with the procedures in subsection (g) of this section.
(3) If electricity generated by the farm or group net metering system exceeds the electricity supplied by the electric company:
(A) The farm or group net metering system shall be billed for the appropriate charges for each meter for that month, in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.
(B) Excess kilowatt‑hours generated during the billing period shall be added to the accumulated balance with this kilowatt‑hour credit appearing on the bill for the following billing period.
(C) Any accumulated kilowatt‑hour credits shall be used within 12 months or shall revert to the electric company without any compensation to the farm or group net metering system. Power reverting to the electric company under this subdivision (3) shall be considered SPEED resources under section 8005 of this title.
addition to any other requirements of section 248 of this title and this
section and board rules thereunder, before a
net metering farm or group net metering system including more
than one meter may be formed and served by an electric company, the proposed net
metering farm or
group net metering
shall file with the board, with copies to the department and the serving
electric company, the following information:
meters to be included in the farm or group net metering system, which shall be
associated with the
farm buildings and residences owned or occupied by
the person operating the farm or group net metering system, or the
person’s family or farm employees, or other members of the group,
identified by account number and location;
(B) a method for adding and removing meters included in the farm or group net metering system;
designated person responsible for all communications from the farm or group net
system to the serving electric company, for receiving and paying bills for any
service provided by the serving electric company for the farm or group net metering system, and for
receiving any other communications regarding the farm or group net
net metering; and
(D) a binding process for the resolution of any disputes within the farm or group net metering system relating to net metering that does not rely on the serving electric company, the board, or the department.
group net metering
system shall, at all times, maintain a written designation to the serving
electric company of a person who shall be the sole person authorized to receive
and pay bills for any service provided by the serving electric company, and
receiving to receive any other communications regarding the farm
system, the group net metering system, or net metering.
serving utility shall implement appropriate changes to the farm
group net metering system within 30 days after receiving written
notification from the designated person. However, written notification of a
change in the person designated under subdivision (2) of this subsection shall
be effective upon receipt by the serving utility. The serving utility shall
not be liable for action based on such notification, but shall make any
necessary corrections and bill adjustments to implement revised notifications.
(4) Pursuant to subsection 231(a) of this title, after such notice and opportunity for hearing as the board may require, the board may revoke a certificate of public good issued to a farm or group net metering system.
(5) A group net metering system may consist only of customers that are located within the service area of the same electric company. Various buildings owned by a municipality may constitute a group net metering system. If it determines that it would promote the general good, the board shall permit a noncontiguous group of net metering customers to comprise a group net metering system.
(h)(1) An electric company:
make net metering available to any customer using a net metering system,
group net metering system, or farm system on a first‑come, first‑served
basis until the cumulative output capacity of net metering systems equals
2.0 percent of the distribution company’s peak demand during 1996; or
the peak demand during the most recent full calendar year, whichever is
greater. The board may raise the 1.0 2.0 percent cap. In
determining whether to raise the cap, the board shall consider the following:
(i) the costs and benefits of net metering systems already connected to the system; and
(ii) the potential costs and benefits of exceeding the cap, including potential short and long‑term impacts on rates, distribution system costs and benefits, reliability and diversification costs and benefits;
(B) Shall allow net metering systems to be interconnected using a kilowatt‑hour meter capable of registering the flow of electricity in two directions or such other comparably equipped meter that would otherwise be applicable to the customer’s usage but for the use of net metering;
(C) May, at its own expense, and with the written consent of the customer, install one or more additional meters to monitor the flow of electricity in each direction;
Except as otherwise provided in this section, shall charge the customer
a minimum monthly fee that is the same as for other customers of the
electric distribution company in the same rate class, but shall not charge the
customer any additional standby, capacity, interconnection, or other fee or
(E) May require a customer to comply with generation interconnection, safety, and reliability requirements, as determined by the public service board by rule or order, and may charge reasonable fees for interconnection, establishment, special metering, meter reading, accounting, account correcting, and account maintenance of net metering arrangements of greater than 15 kilowatt (AC) capacity;
(F) May charge, if the capacity of the distribution system is insufficient for the designed generation, subject to determination by the board, a reasonable fee to cover the cost of electric company improvements necessary to distribute power;
(G) May require that all meters included within a farm or group net metering system be read on the same billing cycle;
book and defer, with carrying costs, additional incremental costs, to the
extent that such costs are not recovered through charges, authorized in
subdivisions (D), (E), and (F) of this subdivision (1), directly related to
implementing net metering of greater than 15 kilowatt (AC) capacity
Shall receive from a farm system, which is designed to produce less energy than
the total annual load of the meters identified in subdivision (g)(1)(A) of this
section, any tradeable renewable credits for which the farm system is eligible. All
other farm systems shall retain any tradeable renewable credits for which the
farm is eligible;.
(2) All such requirements shall be pursuant to and governed by a tariff approved by the board and any applicable board rule, which tariffs and rules shall be designed in a manner reasonably likely to facilitate net metering.
* * *
the provisions of this section that define a net metering system as being of no
15 150 kilowatts (AC) capacity, the board may allow net
metering for up to ten systems per year for customers that produce more than 15
150 kilowatts (AC) capacity, but do not produce more than 150 250
kilowatts of power and are not farm systems.
(k) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (f) and (g) of this section, an electric company may contract to purchase all or a portion of the output products from a farm or group net metering system, provided:
(1) the farm or group net metering system obtains a certificate of public good under the terms of subsections (c) and (d) of this section;
(2) any contracted power shall be subject to the limitations set forth in subdivision (h)(1) of this section;
(3) any contract shall be subject to interconnection and metering requirements in subdivisions (h)(1)(C) and (i)(2) and (3) of this section;
(4) any contract may permit all or a portion of the tradeable renewable energy credits for which the farm or group net metering system is eligible to be transferred to the electric company;
output capacity of a system may exceed
150 250 kilowatts,
(A) the contract assigns the amount of power to be net metered;
(B) the net
metered amount does not exceed
150 250 kilowatts; and
(C) only the amount assigned to net metering is assessed to the cap provided in subdivision (h)(1)(A) of this section.
Sec. 10. 32 V.S.A. § 3845 is amended to read:
(b) For the purposes of this section alternate energy sources includes any plant, structure or facility used for the generation of electricity or production of energy used on the premises for private, domestic or agricultural purposes, no part of which may be for sale or exchange to the public. The term shall include, but not be limited to grist mills, windmills, facilities for the collection of solar energy or the conversion of organic matter to methane, net metering systems regulated by the public service board under 30 V.S.A. § 219a, and all component parts thereof including land upon which the facility is located, not to exceed one-half acre.
* * * Temporary Meteorological Stations * * *
Sec. 11. 30 V.S.A. § 246 is added to read:
§ 246. TEMPORARY SITING OF METEOROLOGICAL STATIONS
(a) For purposes of this section, a “meteorological station” consists of one temporary tower, which may include guy wires, and attached instrumentation to collect and record wind speed, wind direction, and atmospheric conditions.
(b) The public service board shall establish by rule or order standards and procedures governing application for, and issuance or revocation of, a certificate of public good for the temporary installation of one or more meteorological stations under the provisions of section 248 of this title. A meteorological station shall be deemed to promote the public good of the state if it is in compliance with the criteria of this section and the board rules or orders. An applicant for a certificate of public good for a meteorological station shall be exempt from the requirements of subsection 202(f) of this title.
(c) In developing rules or orders, the board:
(1) Shall develop a simple application form and shall require that completed applications be filed with the board, the department of public service, the agency of natural resources, and the municipality in which the meteorological station is proposed to be located.
(2) Shall require that if no objections are filed within 30 days of the board’s receipt of a complete application and the board determines that the applicant has met all of the requirements of section 248 of this title, the certificate of public good shall be issued for a period that the board finds reasonable, but in no event for more than five years. Upon request of an applicant, the board may renew a certificate of public good. Upon expiration of the certificate, the meteorological station and all associated structures and material shall be removed, and the site shall be restored substantially to its preconstruction condition.
(3) May waive the requirements of section 248 of this title that are not applicable to meteorological stations, including criteria that are generally applicable to public service companies as defined in this title. The board shall not waive review regarding whether construction will have an undue adverse effect on esthetics, historic sites, air and water purity, the natural environment, and the public health and safety.
(4) Shall seek to simplify the application and review process, as appropriate, in conformance with this section.
(d) A proposal for decision shall be issued within five months of when the board receives a completed application for a certificate of public good for the temporary installation of one or more meteorological stations under the provisions of section 248 of this title.
* * * Renewable Energy Pricing and Portfolio Standards * * *
Sec. 12. 30 V.S.A. § 8002(4) is amended to read:
(4) “New renewable energy” means renewable energy produced by a
generating resource coming into service after December 31, 2004. This may
include the additional energy from an existing renewable facility retrofitted
with advanced technologies or otherwise operated, modified, or
expanded to increase the kwh output of the facility in excess of an
historical baseline established by calculating the average output of that
facility for the 10‑year period that ended December 31, 2004. If the
production of new renewable energy through
involves combustion of the resource, the system also must result in an
incrementally higher level of energy conversion efficiency or significantly
reduced emissions. For the purposes of this chapter, renewable energy refers
to either “existing renewable energy” or “new renewable energy.”
Sec. 13. 30 V.S.A. § 8003 is amended to read:
§ 8003. RENEWABLE ENERGY PRICING
petition of an electric company subject to this title, upon request of the
department of public service, or on its own initiative, the public service
board may approve one or more renewable pricing programs for one or more
electric utilities; provided, however, in the case of a municipal plant or
department formed under local charter or chapter 79 of this title, or an
electric cooperative formed under chapter 81 of this title, any renewable
pricing program approved by the board shall also be approved by a majority of
the voters of a municipality or cooperative voting upon the question at a duly
warned annual or special meeting held for that purpose. Unless the board
finds good cause to exempt a utility, by no later than July 1, 2008, each
electric utility, municipal department formed under local charter or chapter 79
of this title, and each electric cooperative formed under chapter 81 of this
title shall implement a renewable energy pricing program under this section for
its customers, or shall offer customers the option of making a voluntary
contribution to the Vermont clean energy development fund established under 10
V.S.A. § 6523. Such renewable energy pricing programs may include,
but are not limited to, tariffs, standard special contracts, or other
arrangements whose purpose is to increase the company’s reliance on, or the
customer’s support of, renewable sources of energy or the type and quantity of
renewable energy resources available.
* * *
Renewable pricing programs offered by a company shall be
available to such customer classes as the board may determine.
(g) The board shall consider the following factors in deciding whether and upon what conditions to approve a proposed renewable energy pricing program:
(1) minimization of marketing and administrative expenses;
(2) auditing or certification of sources of energy or tradeable renewable energy credits;
(3) marketing and promotion plans;
(4) effectiveness of the program in meeting the goals of promoting renewable energy generation and public understanding of renewable energy sources in Vermont;
(5) retention by the program of renewable energy production incentives, tax incentives and other incentives earned or otherwise obtained by energy resources acquired pursuant to or as part of a renewable energy pricing program approved under this section to reduce the cost of any premiums paid under this section; and
(6) costs imposed on nonparticipating customers arising on account of the implementation of the voluntary renewable energy pricing program.
Sec. 14. 30 V.S.A. § 8004(e) is amended to read:
(e) In lieu of,
or in addition to purchasing tradeable renewable energy credits to satisfy the
portfolio requirements of this section, a retail electricity provider in this
state may pay to
a renewable energy fund established by the public service
board the Vermont clean energy development fund established under 10
V.S.A. § 6523 an amount per kilowatt hour as established by the board. As
an alternative, the board may require any proportion of this amount to be paid
to the energy conservation fund established under subsection 209(d) of this
* * * SPEED Program * * *
Sec. 15. 30 V.S.A. § 8005 is amended to read:
§ 8005. SUSTAINABLY PRICED ENERGY ENTERPRISE
DEVELOPMENT (SPEED) PROGRAM
* * *
(b) The SPEED program shall be established, by rule, order, or contract, by the public service board by January 1, 2007. As part of the SPEED program, the public service board may, and in the case of subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection shall:
* * *
(2) allow the developer of a facility that is one megawatt or less, and
is a qualifying SPEED resource or a nonqualifying SPEED resource, to sell that
power under a long term contract that is established at a specified
below the hourly spot market price determined by the board to be
adequate to promote SPEED resource development while remaining consistent with
the principles of least‑cost energy services under section 218c of this
title. For purposes of this section, a long‑term contract should be 15
years or greater unless the board finds good cause for a shorter term;
(3) encourage Vermont’s retail electricity providers to secure long‑term
contracts, at stable prices, for
renewable energy that are
anticipated to be below the long‑term market price, over the lives of the
projects qualifying SPEED resources. The board shall create a standard
contract price, or a set of maximum and minimum provisions, or both, for
qualifying SPEED resources over 1 MW of capacity. In setting a standard
contract price for a qualifying SPEED resource, the board shall consider the
goal of developing qualified SPEED resources, least cost provision of energy
service under section 218c, and the impact on electric rates. The board
may create a competitive bid process through which to select a portion of those
* * *
(d)(1) The public service board shall meet on or before January 1, 2012
and open a proceeding , and issue findings determining to
determine the total amount of qualifying SPEED resources that have come
into service or are projected to come into service during the period of time
between January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2013 been supplied to Vermont
retail electricity providers or have been issued a certificate of public good.
If the board finds that the amount of qualifying SPEED resources coming into
service during that time or having been issued a certificate of
public good after January 1, 2005 and before July 1, 2012 equals or exceeds
total statewide growth in electric energy usage retail sales
during the period of time between January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2012 that
time, and in addition, at least five percent of the 2005 total statewide
electric retail sales is provided by qualified SPEED resources, or if it
finds that the amount of qualifying SPEED resources equals or exceeds 10
percent of total statewide electric energy usage retail sales for
calendar year 2005, the portfolio standards established under this chapter
shall not be in force. The board shall make its determination by July 1,
2012 January 1, 2013. If the board finds that the goal established
has not been met, one year after the board’s determination the portfolio
standards established under subsection 8004(b) of this title shall take effect.
(2) A state goal is to assure that 20 percent of total statewide electric retail sales before July 1, 2017 shall be generated by speed resources. The public service board shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy and to the joint energy committee by December 15, 2012 with regard to the state’s progress in meeting this goal. In addition, the board shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy and to the joint energy committee by December 15, 2014 with regard to the state’s progress in meeting this goal and, if necessary, shall include any appropriate recommendations for measures that will make attaining the goal more likely.
(3) For the purposes of the determination to be made under this
subsection, electricity produced at all facilities owned by or under long-term
contract to Vermont retail electricity providers, whether it is generated
inside or outside Vermont, that is new renewable energy shall be counted in the
subdivision subdivisions (d)(1) and (2)
of this section.
* * *
* * * Assistance * * *
Sec. 16. REPORTS ON OMBUDSMAN AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Technical assistance. By no later than January 15, 2008, the public service department, after consultation with the public service board and the clean energy development fund investment committee established under 10 V.S.A. § 6523(e)(1)(B), shall report to the legislative committees on natural resources and energy with a recommended program by which the state may best:
(1) Establish and fund an office of ombudsman, which would be charged with assisting those who desire to develop renewable energy projects in dealing with the regulatory process. The department shall consult with the agency of natural resources with respect to how to assist individuals seeking a certificate of public good for a small hydroelectric facility, a small wind project, or a small solar project, as well as those seeking water quality certification associated with a small hydroelectric facility. The department of public service shall consider how best to coordinate services between its ombudsman and the ombudsman for renewable energy at the agency of agriculture, food and markets.
(2) Establish and fund a program to provide communities with assistance in assessing their renewable energy resources and the potential for development of those resources, and in evaluating, selecting, and implementing reasonable alternatives for financing the construction of those renewable energy resources.
Sec. 17. 32 V.S.A. §8661 is amended to read:
LEVY KILOWATT HOUR TAX
is hereby assessed each year upon electric generating plants constructed in the
state subsequent to July 1, 1965, and having a name plate generating capacity
of 200,000 kilowatts, or more, a state tax
in accordance with the following
megawatt hour production is: tax is: Less than
2,300,000 megawatt hours $2.0 million 2,300,000 to 3,800,000 megawatt
hours $2.0 million plus $0.40 per megawatt hour over 2,300,000 3 ,800,001 to 4,200,000
megawatt hours $2.6 million Over
4,200,000 megawatt hours $2.6 million plus $0.40 per megawatt
hour over 4,200,000 For
purposes of this section, “megawatt hour production” means the average of net
production for sale in the three most recent preceding calendar years. The tax
imposed by this section shall be paid to the commissioner in equal quarterly
installments on or before the 25th day of March, June, September, and December
by the person or corporation then owning or operating such electric generating
at a rate per kWh of electrical energy produced by the facility as determined
by the public service department for the average of the past three calendar
years. The rate of the tax shall be:
(1) $0.00225 per kWh in fiscal year 2009;
(2) $0.0025 in fiscal year 2010; and
(3) $0.003 per kWh in fiscal year 2011 and thereafter.
(b) If an entity subject to this tax generates no electricity during the tax year due to termination or expiration of a necessary license, or due to permanent cessation of operations, no tax shall be due for that year.
(c) A person or corporation failing to make returns or pay the tax imposed by this section within the time required shall be subject to and governed by the provisions of sections 3202, 3203, 5868, and 5873 of this title.
(d) The tax imposed by this section shall be collected quarterly and shall be due on the last day of the month following the end of the quarter. It shall be paid to the commissioner of taxes by the person or corporation then owning or operating such electric generating plant.
(e) Annually, of the revenues received:
(1) forty two per cent shall be deposited in the education fund of the state established in section 4025 of title 16 to be expended for the purposes of that fund.
(2) fifty eight percent shall be deposited in the general fund of the state.
Sec. 17a. REPEAL
32 V.S.A. § 5402a [ELECTRIC GENERATING PLANT EDUCATION PROPERTY TAX] is repealed.
Sec. 17b. EFFECTIVE DATE
Sections 17 and 17a of this act shall take effect July 1, 2008.
By January 15, 2008, the commissioner of taxes shall present recommendations to senate committee on finance and the house committee on ways and means with regard to transitioning from the existing tax established in 32 V.S.A. § 8661 to the tax as established under this act.
* * * Wind‑Powered Electric Generating Facilities * * *
Sec. 18. 32 V.S.A. § 5402c is added to read:
§ 5402c. WIND-POWERED ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILITIES TAX
(a) A facility certified by the commissioner of public service as a facility which produces electrical energy for resale, generated solely from wind power, which has an installed capacity of at least five megawatts, which was placed in service after January 1, 2007, and which holds a valid certificate of public good issued under 30 V.S.A. § 248, shall be assessed an alternative education property tax on its buildings and fixtures used directly and exclusively in generation of electrical energy from wind power.
(b) The tax shall be imposed at a rate per kWh of electrical energy produced by the certified facility, as determined by the public service department for the six months ending April 30 and the six months ending October 31 each year. The rate of the tax shall be:
(1) $0.00225 in fiscal year 2009;
(2) $0.0025 in fiscal year 2010;
(3) $0.003 in fiscal year 2011 and thereafter.
(c) In no case shall the tax imposed for any six month period be less than an amount equal to the rate per kWh imposed by this subsection multiplied by the number of kWh that would be generated if the facility operated at a 15% capacity factor.
(d) The tax imposed by this section shall be paid to the commissioner of taxes by the person or entity then owning or operating the certified facility, by December 1 for the period ending October 31 and by June 1 for the period ending April 30, for deposit into the education fund. A person or entity failing to make returns or pay the tax imposed by this section within the time required shall be subject to and governed by the provisions of sections 3202 and 3203 and subchapters 8 and 9 of chapter 151 of this title.
(e) Until a facility is certified under this subsection, it shall remain subject to taxation under section 5402 of this title. Buildings and fixtures subject to the education property tax under this section shall not be taken into account in determining the common level of appraisal for the municipality.
Sec. 19. STUDY OF TAX ON ELECTRIC GENERATING PROPERTY
The commissioner of the department of public service, the commissioner of taxes, and a representative of the joint fiscal office shall study the proper valuation of electric generating facilities and whether there are factors that might necessitate different treatment for different types of electric generating facilities. Based on this study, they shall determine options for raising tax revenues from electric generating facilities, including the current education property tax, and the advantages and disadvantages of the various options with regard to stability of the revenue source, ability to build inflation into the tax mechanism, how well the tax mechanism will reflect cost of power sold and fluctuations in power production, whether property valuation creates difficulties for application of a property tax, how the tax mechanism will produce revenue during any start-up or construction period, and any other issues which they may find pertinent to the inquiry; and based upon their findings, shall recommend one or more education tax options for this property. The study group shall report their findings and recommendations, including proposed legislative amendments, to the house committee on ways and means and senate committee on finance by December 1, 2007.
* * * Business Energy Credit * * *
Sec. 20. 32 V.S.A. § 5822(c)(1)(B) and (d) are amended to read:
(c) The amount of tax determined under subsection (a) of this section shall be:
(1) increased by 24 percent of the taxpayer’s federal tax liability for the taxable year for the following:
* * *
(B) recapture of federal investment tax credit and increased by 76 percent of the Vermont‑property portion of the business solar energy investment tax credit component of the federal investment tax credit recapture for the taxable year;
(d) A taxpayer shall be entitled to a credit against the tax imposed under this section of 24 percent of each of the credits allowed against the taxpayer’s federal income tax for the taxable year as follows: elderly and permanently totally disabled credit, investment tax credit, and child care and dependent care credits. A taxpayer shall also be entitled to a credit against the tax imposed under this section of 76 percent of the Vermont‑property portion of the business solar energy investment tax credit component of the federal investment tax credit allowed against the taxpayer’s federal income tax for the taxable year under Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Sec. 21. 32 V.S.A. § 5930z is added to read:
§ 5930z. Pass‑Through of Federal Energy Credit for Corporations
(a) A taxpayer of this state shall be eligible for a credit against the tax imposed under section 5832 of this title in an amount equal to 100% of the Vermont‑property portion of the business solar energy investment tax credit component of the federal investment tax credit allowed against the taxpayer’s federal income tax for the taxable year under Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code.
(b) Any taxpayer who has received a credit under subsection (a) of this section in any prior year shall increase its corporate income tax under this chapter by the amount of the Vermont‑property portion of the business solar energy investment tax credit component of the federal investment tax credit recapture for the taxable year.
Sec. 22. EFFECTIVE DATE OF BUSINESS ENERGY TAX CREDITS
(a) Secs. 20 and 21 of this act (business energy tax credits) shall apply to taxable years 2008 and after.
(b) By January 15, 2008, the Department of Taxes and the Joint Fiscal Office shall report to the General Assembly regarding recommendations on any changes to the business solar tax credit, including options for replacing the pass-through of the federal credit to promote solar investment, whether it should be restructured to be a state tax credit rather than a pass-through of the federal investment tax credit, and whether other investment tax credits should be adopted to promote energy efficiency in the state.
* * * Small Hydro Reports * * *
Sec. 23. PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD REPORT ON PERMITTING SMALL
Prior to December 15, 2007, the public service board shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources and the senate committee on natural resources and energy with a recommendation for a simple, predictable, and environmentally sound process, other than the process set forth in subsection 248(j) of Title 30, for issuing a certificate of public good under section 248 of Title 30 for small hydroelectric projects that are not eligible for a net metering permit under public service board rule 5.100. The report shall:
(1) Recommend criteria for determining what constitutes a small hydroelectric facility, including the allowable maximum amount of output capacity at the facility and the type of eligible facilities, natural features, or other sites.
(2) Address permit application requirements, including ownership of the facility, interconnection, and structural safety of the small hydroelectric project.
(3) Address additional uses of the small hydroelectric project such as flood control; fish and wildlife habitat; recreation; water supply; historic resource; and structural grade control for infrastructure, roads, bridges, and houses.
Sec. 24. AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT ON WATER
QUALITY CERTIFICATION FOR SMALL HYDROELECTRIC
Prior to December 15, 2007, the secretary of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources and the senate committee on natural resources and energy with a recommendation for a simple, predictable, and environmentally sound procedure for completing a water quality certification review, as required by Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act, of small hydroelectric projects that are not subject to net metering. The report shall:
(1) Recommend, after consultation with the public service board, criteria for determining what constitutes a small hydroelectric facility, including the allowable maximum amount of output capacity at the facility and the type of eligible facilities, natural features, or other sites;
(2) Address bypass flows for small hydroelectric projects.
(3) Address the need for monitoring of dissolved oxygen at small hydroelectric facilities.
(4) Address seasonal flows in bypasses at run‑of‑river facilities.
(5) Address the need for new fish or flow studies for small hydroelectric projects.
(6) Address the use of flashboards to increase upstream flooding.
(7) Address measures to prevent fish from entering turbines and penstocks.
(8) Address the size of authorized diversions and penstocks.
(9) Include an analysis of the existing permitting process for small hydro projects.
Sec. 25. PILOT PROJECTS FOR SMALL HYDROELECTRIC
In order to promote the timely development of environmentally sound small community hydro projects, and to help inform efforts to develop new permitting processes, the public service department and the agency of natural resources shall work with communities that are seeking to develop small hydro projects, to facilitate those projects through the existing permit processes. These projects shall not have more than 2 MW of name-plate capacity, shall have the support and involvement of the communities in which they are located, and shall not include the construction of a new dam.
Sec. 26. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; EXISTING OUTDOOR WOOD
BOILERS GRANDFATHERED; IMPROPER USE; NEW RULE
05-P41 EFFECTIVE MARCH 31, 2008
The general assembly finds:
(1) confusion and misinformation has caused some current owners of outdoor wood boilers to incorrectly conclude that they may be unable to use their units when Rule 05-P41 goes into effect;
(2) Rule 05-P41, recently adopted by the agency of natural resources, raises emission standard requirements for new outdoor wood boilers purchased after March 31, 2008, and does not in any way affect Vermonters who currently own outdoor wood boilers, the proper use of which will be grandfathered unless a nuisance is created;
(3) Rule 05-P41 for new outdoor wood boilers does not take effect until March 31, 2008, thereby giving fair warning to dealers and manufacturers;
(4) Rule 05-P41 and 10 V.S.A. § 561 (variances) authorizes the secretary of natural resources, on application from an affected party, to extend the implementation date of the rule if the available technology cannot satisfy the air quality standards in the rule; and
(5) it is unlawful for a person to use an outdoor wood boiler, as it is for other wood-burning equipment, to burn rubber, tires, plastics, common household waste, or hazardous waste of any kind, which when combusted often cause high levels of toxins to be emitted into our communities, in turn resulting in dirty and toxic air with complaints to municipal and state governments, and demands for stricter air quality rules. See 24 V.S.A. § 2201 (relating to enforcement of solid waste law violations and municipal enforcement) and 10 V.S.A. Chapters 23 and 159 and the rules adopted thereunder (relating to the definitions of solid waste).
Sec. 27. REPORT ON STATUS OF SPEED PROGRAM
By no later than January 15, 2008, the public service board shall report to the legislative committees on natural resources and energy with an evaluation of the likelihood of qualifying SPEED resources coming into service in time to meet the standards established in 30 V.S.A. § 8005(d), as amended by this act.
* * * Plumbing * * *
Sec. 28. 26 V.S.A. § 2192a(b) is amended to read:
(b) Specialty fields include the following:
* * *
(4) Solar System Specialist: Installation, replacement and repair of residential, industrial or commercial domestic solar heating systems for use as a supplemental or pre-heat source. Systems shall include; passive or active design, collectors, storage tanks, heat exchangers, piping, safety devices and related materials. The Solar System Specialist shall only connect to new or existing domestic hot water supply tanks, including instantaneous heaters, as well as tanks or heat exchangers supplementing hydronic space heating systems. At no time shall a Solar System Specialist install, replace and repair any other part of a domestic hot water supply or hydronic space heating system.
* * * Affordability * * *
Sec. 29. 30 V.S.A. § 218(e) is added to read:
(e) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the board, on its own motion or upon petition of any person, may issue an order approving a rate schedule, tariff, agreement, contract, or settlement that provides reduced rates for low income electric utility consumers to better assure affordability. For the purposes of this subsection, “low income electric utility consumer” means a customer who has a household income at or below 150 percent of the current federal poverty level. When considering whether to approve a rate schedule, tariff, agreement, contract, or settlement for low income electric utility consumers, the board shall take into account the potential impact on, and cost-shifting to, other utility customers.
* * * Energy Efficiency Services Fund * * *
Sec. 30. 30 V.S.A. § 203a is added to read:
§ 203a. ENERGY EFFICIENCY SERVICES
(a) Purpose. The general assembly finds and determines that:
(1) it is the policy of the state to assure the efficient use of energy resources and cost‑effective demand management, as specified in section 202a of this title;
(2) a comprehensive state energy plan, as is specified in section 202b of this title, must be developed to implement this state energy policy;
(3) it is appropriate to build upon the work in reducing energy costs for Vermonters already done by the existing efficiency utility established under the authority of section 209 of this title, and to integrate that work into a broader program implemented through an expanded energy efficiency utility that will serve the needs of the people of the state in an even better manner;
(4) current energy efficiency programs are not designed to meet fully the thermal efficiency needs of consumers who rely on heating oil, kerosene, propane, and coal, as they are funded through efficiency charges that are currently assessed only on electricity and natural gas providers regulated by the board;
(5) with the scientific consensus that global climate change is caused in significant part by human activities that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it is particularly important to reduce the extent to which these emissions result from the inefficient use of carbon‑containing fuels, regardless of the nature of the source;
(6) it is desirable for the state to lower the risk of high fuel prices and vulnerable supplies, while at the same time strengthening the Vermont economy by establishing a system to promote all forms of energy end‑use efficiency, comprehensive sustainable building design, and integrated renewable energy installations.
(b) Non-electric energy efficiency fund. The public service board shall establish a non-electric energy efficiency fund to be managed by a fund administrator appointed by the board under this section and subdivision 209(d)(3) of this title. The fund shall contain such sums as appropriated by the general assembly or as otherwise provided by law. Balances in the fund and interest earned shall be carried forward and remain in the fund at the end of each fiscal year.
(c) Use of the fund. The non-electric energy efficiency services fund shall be used to support the delivery of energy efficiency services to Vermont heating and process fuel consumers of oil, kerosene, propane, coal, and wood; and to carry out cost‑effective efficiency measures and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from sectors other than, or in addition to, the regulated electricity and natural gas use sectors. These energy efficiency services shall be provided by the energy efficiency utility appointed by the board under subsection 209(d) of this title and operating in accordance with section 209 of this title.
(d) Review of adequacy of the fund.
(1) On or before January 15, 2011, the public service board shall report to the legislature on the expenditure of funds from the non-electric energy efficiency services fund to meet the public’s needs for energy efficiency services.
(2) The report shall include a funding adequacy evaluation and funding recommendations which shall be developed through a collaborative process involving representatives of heating fuel dealers, electric and gas utilities, the expanded energy efficiency utility, the department of public service, residential and business consumer representatives, environmental advocates, the building industry, entities currently engaged in delivering weatherization services, and other stakeholders identified by the board.
(3) The funding adequacy evaluation shall address: the need for and availability of alternative revenue sources that may be dedicated to the non‑electric energy efficiency fund; the resources dedicated to energy efficiency purposes provided through electric and natural gas rates; an evaluation of potential cost‑effective energy efficiency investments and programs designed to meet the need for energy services through efficiency or conservation in all customer classes and areas of opportunity; the amount of funding necessary in order to realize all reasonably available, cost‑effective energy efficiency savings; and other factors to assure consistency with the purposes of this section and the goals of section 202a of this title.
(4) The funding recommendations shall be developed in a manner that accords an appropriate balance among the following objectives: reducing the size of future heating and process-fuel purchases; reducing the generation of greenhouse gases; providing efficiency and conservation as a part of a comprehensive resource supply strategy; providing the opportunity for all Vermonters to participate in efficiency and conservation programs; providing that residential and commercial sector benefits generally shall be proportional to sector contributions to the extent such proportion can be determined; and targeting efficiency and conservation efforts to locations, markets, or customers where they may provide the greatest value.
* * * Revised Efficiency Utility Structure * * *
Sec. 31. REPORT ON REVISED STRUCTURE FOR ENERGY
Public service board report. By no later than December 15, 2007, the public service board shall present a report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy, the senate committee on finance, and the house committee on ways and means that contains a proposed revised energy efficiency utility structure, together with any proposed legislative changes that in its judgment will assist in the effective implementation of the revised efficiency utility. The board shall develop the proposal in a manner consistent with the provisions of 30 V.S.A. § 209 and in collaboration with representatives from heating fuel dealers, electric and gas utilities, the energy efficiency utility, the department of public service, consumer representatives, environmental advocates, the building industry, entities currently engaged in delivering weatherization services, and other stakeholders identified by the board. The report shall include options for ongoing funding of the expanded fossil fuel efficiency responsibilities of the energy efficiency utility.
Sec. 31a. OVERSIGHT OF EFFICIENCY UTILITY
(a) Legislative oversight. Final responsibility for establishing the
proposed efficiency utility rests with the general assembly. The general assembly shall promptly review, give deliberate consideration to the proposal submitted by the board under Sec. 31 of this act, and take appropriate action. Unless the general assembly enacts legislation to the contrary by March 31, 2008, the efficiency utility shall become effective as provided by this act.
(b) Representation of ratepayers. The department of public service shall represent the interests of ratepayers in proceedings before the public service board involving the efficiency utility in a manner consistent with the provisions of 30 V.S.A. § 202a.
(c) Accountability. The public service board shall provide ongoing oversight in order to assure continued accountability of the efficiency utility, as required under 30 V.S.A. §§ 209 and 203a..
* * * Existing Efficiency Utility * * *
Sec. 32. 30 V.S.A. § 209 is amended to read:
§ 209. JURISDICTION; GENERAL SCOPE
* * *
(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
shall, 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 programs and
measures delivered in multiple service territories, by appointing one
or more entities appointed by the board for these purposes a
qualified entity as an energy efficiency utility. An appointment of an energy
efficiency utility shall be made under this section and section 203a of this
title, on a schedule that provides the energy efficiency utility adequate time
to prepare for the delivery of relevant services no later than January 1,
2009. Despite this appointment, however, the board may allow the Burlington Electric
Department and the Vermont Gas Systems, Inc., and any successors in interest,
to continue to provide efficiency services within their respective service
territories. The As part of this appointment, the board may
shall include as eligible measures 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. The
Except with regard to a transmission company, the board may specify that
the implementation of these programs and measures appointment of an
energy efficiency utility to deliver services within an electric utility’s
service territory satisfies a that electric utility’s
corresponding obligations, in whole or in part, under section 218c of this
title and under any prior orders of the board.
(3) In addition to its existing authority, the board may establish by order or rule a volumetric charge to customers for the support of energy efficiency programs that meet the requirements of section 218c of this title. The charge shall be known as the energy efficiency charge, shall be shown separately on each customer's bill, and shall be paid to a fund administrator appointed by the board and deposited into an electric efficiency fund. When such a charge is shown, notice as to how to obtain information about energy efficiency programs approved under this section shall be provided in a manner directed by the board. This notice shall include, at a minimum, a toll free telephone number, and to the extent feasible shall be on the customer's bill and near the energy efficiency charge. Balances in the electric efficiency fund shall be ratepayer funds, shall be used to support the activities authorized in this subdivision, and shall be carried forward and remain in the fund at the end of each fiscal year. These monies shall not be available to meet the general obligations of the state. Interest earned shall remain in the fund. The board will annually provide the legislature with a report detailing the revenues collected and the expenditures made for energy efficiency programs under this section.
(4) The charge established by the board pursuant to subdivision (3) of
this subsection shall be in an amount determined by the board by rule or order
that is consistent with the principles of least cost integrated planning as
defined in section 218c of this title. As circumstances and programs evolve,
the amount of the charge shall be reviewed for unrealized energy efficiency
potential and shall be adjusted as necessary in order to realize all reasonably
available, cost-effective energy efficiency savings. In setting the amount of
the charge and its allocation, the board shall determine an appropriate balance
among the following objectives; provided, however, that particular emphasis
shall be accorded to the first four of these objectives: reducing the size of
future power purchases; reducing the generation of greenhouse gases; limiting
the need to upgrade the state's transmission and distribution infrastructure;
minimizing the costs of electricity; providing efficiency and conservation as a
part of a comprehensive resource supply strategy; providing the opportunity for
all Vermonters to participate in efficiency and conservation programs; and the
value of targeting efficiency and conservation efforts to locations, markets or
customers where they may provide the greatest value. The board, by rule or
order, shall establish a process by which a customer
may apply to the board
for an exemption from some or all of the charges assessed under this
subdivision. The board shall establish criteria by which these applications
shall be measured. Any such exemption shall extend for a period of time not to
exceed one year. In addition, the board may authorize exemptions only if, at a
minimum, a customer demonstrates that, during the preceding year, it
implemented an extraordinary amount of cost-effective energy efficiency at the
customer's own expense or incurred extraordinary costs on those measures and
the customer did not and will not receive reimbursement for those measures from
the entity designated by the board under this section who pays an
average annual energy efficiency charge of at least $5,000 may apply to the
board to self-administer energy efficiency through the use of an energy savings
account which shall contain a percentage of the customer’s energy efficiency
charge payments as determined by the board. The remaining portion of the
charge shall be used for system-wide energy benefits. The board shall establish
criteria for approval of these applications.
(5) Effective January 1, 2009, an energy efficiency utility shall have the same unrestricted term of appointment and process for termination of appointment as is most common for electric and gas utilities in the state.
(e) The board shall:
(1) Ensure that all retail consumers,
regardless of retail electricity
or, gas, or heating or
process fuel provider, will have an opportunity to participate in and
benefit from a comprehensive set of cost‑effective energy efficiency
programs and initiatives designed to overcome barriers to participation.
(2) Require that continued or improved efficiencies be made in the production, delivery, and use of energy efficiency services, including the use of compensation mechanisms for any energy efficiency utility that are based upon verified savings in energy usage and demand, and other performance targets specified by the board. The linkage between compensation and verified savings in energy usage and demand (and other performance targets) shall be reviewed and adjusted not less than triennially by the board.
(3) Build on the energy efficiency expertise and capabilities that have developed or may develop in the state.
(4) Promote program initiatives and market strategies that address the needs of persons or businesses facing the most significant barriers to participation.
(5) Promote coordinated program delivery, including coordination with low income weatherization programs, other efficiency programs, and utility programs.
(6) Consider innovative approaches to delivering energy efficiency, including strategies to encourage third party financing and customer contributions to the cost of efficiency measures.
(7) Provide a reasonably stable multiyear
budget and planning cycle
and in order to promote program
improvement, program stability, enhanced access to capital and personnel,
improved integration of program designs with the budgets of regulated companies
providing energy services, and maturation of programs and delivery
(8) Approve programs, measures, and delivery mechanisms that reasonably reflect current and projected market conditions, technological options, and environmental benefits.
(9) Provide for delivery of these programs as rapidly as possible, taking into consideration the need for these services, and cost-effective delivery mechanisms.
(10) Provide for the independent evaluation of programs delivered under subsection (d) of this section and those delivered under section 203a of this title.
(11) Require that any entity
by the board under subsection (d) of this section deliver board‑approved
programs in an effective, efficient, timely, and competent manner and meet
standards that are consistent with those in section 218c of this title, the
board’s orders in public service board docket 5270, and any relevant board
orders in subsequent energy efficiency proceedings.
(12) Require verification, on or before January 1, 2003, and every three years thereafter, by an independent auditor of the reported energy and capacity savings and cost-effectiveness of programs delivered by any entity appointed by the board to deliver energy efficiency programs under subdivision (d)(2) of this section and under section 203a of this title.
(13) Ensure that any energy efficiency program approved by the board shall be reasonable and cost-effective.
(14) Consider the impact on retail electric rates and bills of programs delivered under subsection (d) of this section and the impact on fuel prices and bills of programs delivered under section 203a of this title.
(15) Ensure that the energy efficiency utility promotes strategies that shall be designed to make continuous progress by promoting all forms of energy end‑use efficiency and comprehensive sustainable building design. The program may utilize performance‑based compensation. The program administrator may secure and administer revenue from other sources.
(f) Appointment of, oversight of, and revenue determinations for such an energy efficiency utility shall fall within the regulatory powers and jurisdiction of the board and, as is the case regarding the regulation of the revenues, terms, and conditions of service and compensation of gas and electric utilities, shall not be considered a contractual activity of the state.
(g) No later than January 1, 2009, consistent with the provisions of subsections (d),(e), and (f) of this section, the board shall adopt a revised structure for an efficiency utility in order to:
(1) establish processes for the appointment and revocation of appointment to serve as the energy efficiency utility similar to those in effect for regulated utilities in Vermont;
(2) provide for regulatory oversight by the board and the department of public service that is appropriate to the structure and purpose of the expanded energy efficiency utility;
(3) base some of the expanded energy efficiency utility’s compensation on verified savings in energy usage and demand and on other performance targets specified by the board and consistent with the provisions of section 202a of this title;
(4) clarify the relationship between the energy efficiency utility and the City of Burlington Electric Department and Vermont Gas Systems, Inc., or any successors in interest, under which the city and the Vermont Gas Systems, Inc., or any successors in interest, may continue to provide some or all energy efficiency services in their respective service territories if approved by the board;
(5) continue the delivery of electric efficiency programs consistent with the relevant provisions of subsection (e) of this section;
(6) expand the energy efficiency utility’s responsibilities to include thermal efficiency and the development of comprehensive building efficiency strategies to promote all forms of energy end-use efficiency and comprehensive sustainable building design;
(7) provide for appropriate notice to customers on means to obtain information about energy efficiency programs approved under this section;
(8) determine what, if any, regulatory authority over fuel dealers that the board or department of public service, or both, may require in order to implement the expansion of the energy efficiency utility’s responsibilities set forth in this section and section 203a of this title; and
(9) permit the energy efficiency utility independently to report and recommend to the board, the general assembly, and the public measures and policies intended to achieve the purposes of section 202a of this title, and, more generally, the purposes of this title.
(h) The public service board may prescribe, by rule or order, standards for the labeling of electricity delivered or intended for delivery to ultimate consumers as to price, terms, sources and objective environmental impacts, along with such procedures as it deems necessary for verification of information contained in such labels. The public service board may prescribe, by rule or by order, standards and criteria for the substantiation of such labeling or of any claims regarding the price, terms, sources and environmental impacts of electricity delivered or intended for delivery to ultimate consumers in Vermont, along with enforcement procedures and penalties. When establishing standards for the labeling of electricity, the board shall weigh the cost, as well as the benefits, of compliance with such standards. With respect to companies distributing electricity to ultimate consumers, the board may order disclosure and publication, not to occur more than once each year, of any labeling required pursuant to the standards established by this subsection. Standards established under this subsection may include provisions for:
* * *
* * * Coordination with Efficiency Utility * * *
Sec. 33. 30 V.S.A. § 218c(b) is amended to read:
(b) Each regulated electric or gas company shall prepare and implement a least cost integrated plan for the provision of energy services to its Vermont customers. In preparing the efficiency portion of an integrated plan, a regulated company shall consult with any entity appointed by the board to deliver energy efficiency services under subdivision 209(d)(2) of this title or under section 203a of this title. Proposed plans shall be submitted to the department of public service and the public service board. The board, after notice and opportunity for hearing, may approve a company’s least cost integrated plan if it determines that the company’s plan complies with the requirements of subdivision (a)(1) of this section.
Sec. 34. FORWARD CAPACITY MARKET REVENUES; ENERGY EFFICIENCY UTILITY
Net revenues above costs associated with payments from the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE) for capacity savings resulting from the activities of the energy efficiency utility designated under 30 V.S.A.§ 209(d)(3) shall be used to further the ability to undertake cost effective energy efficiency activities that will reduce Vermont energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The priority for use of these funds shall be to develop, support, and implement mechanisms designed to provide positive cash flow financing for energy efficiency investments. These investments shall be supervised by the public service board. Beginning January 1, 2009, these funds shall be deposited into the non-electric energy efficiency fund established under 30 V.S.A. § 203a(b).
* * * Low Income Weatherization * * *
Sec. 35. 33 V.S.A. § 2501(d)–(i) are added to read:
(d) This fund shall be used solely for the purpose of funding weatherization services to low income Vermonters. Borrowing from the fund to provide cash flow assistance to LIHEAP, or enhancement of the LIHEAP program if unmet need is determined to be critical, may be authorized by the general assembly if it is determined that such borrowing will not affect cash flow to the weatherization contractors. Provisions for repayment of borrowed funds must be made by the end of the fiscal year in which they were borrowed.
(e) A full annual accounting of the revenues and expenditures of the weatherization trust fund will be provided by the agency of administration to the house and senate committees on appropriations and on natural resources and energy.
(f) The low income weatherization program will be guided by a five‑year plan that is drafted with the specific purpose of improving continuously the comfort, safety, and affordability in low income housing and to reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas generation in that housing. The plan shall describe a five‑year strategy, with a three‑year detailed work plan. Each year, the strategy and the work plan shall be updated by one year. The initial plan and subsequent updates will be developed by a weatherization oversight committee, working cooperatively with the office of economic opportunity. The weatherization oversight committee will be composed of: three representatives, including two representatives of weatherization contractors and one director of a community action program appointed by the Vermont community action directors association; a representative appointed by the energy efficiency utility provided for in 30 V.S.A. § 209; a low income representative appointed by the Vermont low income advocacy council; a representative appointed by the Vermont housing finance agency; a representative of the department of public service; a representative of a local or regional nonprofit land trust that develops affordable housing appointed by the housing and conservation board; a representative from the office of home heating assistance; a member of the Vermont house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house; a member of the senate, appointed by the committee on committees of the senate; a representative of renewable energy installers, to be appointed by renewable energy Vermont; a representative with expertise in climate change reduction appointed by the joint energy committee; a representative of the workforce development council; and a representative of the office of economic opportunity. The office of economic opportunity shall provide support and full drafting assistance to the weatherization oversight committee in the production of this plan and required updates.
(g) The initial plan shall be completed and provided to the general assembly by December 20, 2007. The plan shall include the following:
(1) A five‑year strategy to ensure stable financing and capacity‑building in the regional weatherization programs, including a plan for ramp‑up of services consistent with sound management practices.
(2) A full examination of the effect of the federal Department of Energy rules guiding the federal portion of weatherization funds that now also guide the use of state funds, and steps that could be taken with the state funds to expand the number of units served, the comprehensiveness of services offered, and the greenhouse gas reduction effect of the program. This will include, where appropriate, the potential for revisions in eligibility, both statewide and by region.
(3) A comprehensive strategy to use the weatherization program to reduce the rapidly increasing annual requirements for LIHEAP funds.
(4) A full discussion of efficiencies and improved services to be gained in continuing coordination with Efficiency Vermont, with energy efficiency programs of the Burlington electric department and Vermont Gas Systems, Inc., and any successors in interest, and with any other partnerships that could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the program.
(5) Full consideration of strategies and documentation that may be required to secure any greenhouse gas cap‑and‑trade revenues for furtherance of the program.
(6) Strategies for appropriate use of renewable energy technologies to secure long‑term affordability for low income households.
(7) Financing strategies that might leverage other funds to increase efficiency and renewable energy investment in low income housing.
(8) Estimation of job training requirements to implement the plan, how they may be met, and the role of weatherization programs in providing training for their own programs and for the expanded efficiency utility program as well.
(9) A comprehensive plan for evaluation of the program, documentation of savings and other benefits, and regular reporting to the general assembly.
(h) On or before January 30 of each year, the office of economic opportunity shall make a report to the house and senate committees on appropriations and on natural resources and energy utilizing existing resources within state government available in the office of economic opportunity’s weatherization data management system that compiles performance data available on households weatherized in the past year to include:
(1) number of households weatherized;
(2) average program expenditure per household for energy efficiency;
(3) average percent energy savings;
(4) energy and nonenergy benefits combined;
(5) benefits saved for every dollar spent;
(6) average savings per unit for heating fuels;
(7) gallons of oil saved related to equivalent number of homes heated;
(8) projected number of households to be weatherized in the current program year; and
(9) projected program expenditures for the current program year ending March 31.
(i) The office of economic opportunity may implement administrative changes to the operation of the low income weatherization program that are within its authority to make, prior to submitting the plan. All such changes will be described in the plan.
* * * Energy Planning * * *
Sec. 36. 30 V.S.A. § 202 is amended to read:
§ 202. ELECTRICAL ENERGY PLANNING
(a) The department of public service, through
the director for regulated utility planning, shall constitute the responsible
utility planning agency of the state for the purpose of obtaining for all
consumers in the state proper utility service at minimum cost under efficient
and economical management consistent with other public policy of the state.
The director shall be responsible for the provision of plans for meeting
emerging trends related to electrical energy demand, supply, safety
conservation, environmental impacts, and continuing reductions in the
generation of greenhouse gases in the production or use of energy.
(b) The department, through the director, shall prepare an electrical energy plan for the state. The plan shall be for a 20‑year period and shall serve as a basis for state electrical energy policy. The electric energy plan shall be based on the principles of “least cost integrated planning” set out in and developed under section 218c of this title. The plan shall include at a minimum:
(1) an overview, looking
years ahead, of statewide growth and development as they relate to future
requirements for electrical energy, including patterns of urban expansion,
statewide and service area economic growth, shifts in transportation modes,
modifications in housing types and design, conservation, environmental impacts,
the increasing global importance of continual reductions in the generation of
greenhouse gases, and other trends and factors which, as determined by the
director, will significantly affect state electrical energy policy and
(2) an assessment of all energy resources available to the state for electrical generation or to supply electrical power, including among others, fossil fuels, nuclear, hydro‑electric, biomass, wind, fuel cells, and solar energy and strategies for minimizing the economic and environmental costs of energy supply, including the production of pollutants and greenhouse gases, by means of efficiency and emission improvements, fuel shifting, and other appropriate means;
(3) estimates of the projected level of electrical energy demand, the projected level of pollution, and the projected level of greenhouse gases generated as a byproduct of the generation of electrical energy;
(4) a detailed exposition, including capital requirements and the estimated cost to consumers, of how such demand shall be met and how the generation of pollutants, including greenhouse gases, may be continually reduced, based on the assumptions made in subdivision (1) of this subsection and the policies set out in subsection (c) of this section; and
(5) specific strategies for reducing electric rates and for reducing the generation of pollution including greenhouse gases to the greatest extent possible in Vermont over the most immediate five‑year period, for the next succeeding five‑year period, and long‑term sustainable strategies for achieving and maintaining the lowest possible electric rates and generation of pollution including greenhouse gases over the full 20‑year planning horizon consistent with the goal of maintaining a financially stable electric utility industry in Vermont.
(c) In developing the plan, the department shall take into account the protection of public health and safety; preservation of environmental quality; the potential for reduction of rates paid by all retail electricity customers; the potential for reduction of electrical demand through conservation, including alternative utility rate structures; use of load management technologies; efficiency of electrical usage; utilization of waste heat from generation; and utility assistance to consumers in energy conservation. The department shall place an emphasis upon continuing reductions in the generation of pollution, including greenhouse gases.
(d) In establishing plans, the director shall:
(1) Consult with:
* * *
(J) an entity designated to meet the public’s need for energy efficiency services under subdivision 218c(a)(2) of this title or designated under section 203a of this title;
* * *
(2) To the extent necessary, include in the
plan surveys to determine needed and desirable plant improvements and
extensions and coordination between utility systems, joint construction of
facilities by two or more utilities, methods of operations, and any change that
will produce better service
or, reduce costs, or reduce
pollution, including the generation of greenhouse gases. To this end, the
director may require the submission of data by each company subject to
supervision, of its anticipated electrical demand, including load fluctuation,
supplies, costs, the generation of pollution including greenhouse gases,
and its plan to meet that demand and reduce that pollution including
greenhouse gas emissions, together with such other information as the
director deems desirable.
(3) Work in conjunction with the energy efficiency utility designated under subsection 209(d) of this title or under section 203a of this title to develop 20‑year projections for efficiency programs administered by that utility and to incorporate those projections into the state electrical energy plan.
* * *
(f) After adoption by the department of a final plan, any company seeking board authority to make investments, to finance, to site or construct a generation or transmission facility or to purchase electricity or rights to future electricity, shall notify the department of the proposed action and request a determination by the department whether the proposed action is consistent with the plan. In its determination whether to permit the proposed action, the board shall consider the department’s determination of its consistency with the plan along with all other factors required by law or relevant to the board’s decision on the proposed action. If the proposed action is inconsistent with the plan, the board may nevertheless authorize the proposed action if it finds that there is good cause to do so. To the extent that the inconsistency entails an excessive generation of greenhouse gases, the board may authorize the proposed action only if it finds that there is compelling reason to do so. The department shall be a party to any proceeding on the proposed action, except that this section shall not be construed to require a hearing if not otherwise required by law.
* * *
Sec. 37. 30 V.S.A. § 202a is amended to read:
§ 202a. STATE ENERGY POLICY
It is the general policy of the state of Vermont:
(1) To assure, to the greatest extent
practicable, that Vermont can meet its energy service needs in a manner that is
adequate, reliable, secure, and sustainable; that assures affordability
and encourages the state’s economic vitality, continuing and substantial
reductions in the generation of pollution including greenhouse gases, the
efficient use of energy resources and
cost effective cost‑effective
demand side management; and that is environmentally sound.
(2) To identify and evaluate on an ongoing basis, resources that will meet Vermont’s energy service needs in accordance with the principles of least cost integrated planning; including efficiency, conservation and load management alternatives, wise use of renewable resources, continuing and substantial reductions in the generation of pollution including greenhouse gases, and environmentally sound energy supply.
Sec. 38. 30 V.S.A. § 202b is amended to read:
§ 202b. STATE COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY PLAN
(a) The department of public service, in conjunction with other state agencies designated by the governor, shall prepare a comprehensive state energy plan covering at least a 20‑year period. The plan shall seek to implement the state energy policy set forth in section 202a of this title. The plan shall include:
(1) A comprehensive analysis and projections regarding the use, cost, supply, and environmental effects of all forms of energy resources used within Vermont and regarding all pollution including greenhouse gases generated within the state, including the state’s progress in meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals established in 10 V.S.A. § 578.
(2) Recommendations for state implementation actions, regulation, legislation, and other public and private action to carry out the comprehensive energy plan.
* * *
* * * Biodiesel * * *
Sec. 39. USE OF BIODIESEL IN STATE OFFICE BUILDINGS, STATE
GARAGES, AND THE STATE VEHICLE FLEET
(a) Definitions. As used in this section:
(1) “Biodiesel blend” means a blend of biodiesel fuel and petroleum diesel fuel or petroleum heating fuel that contains at least two percent biodiesel fuel by volume.
(2) “Biodiesel fuel” means a renewable, biodegradable, mono alkyl ester combustible liquid fuel derived from vegetable oil or animal fat which meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification D6751‑02 for Biodiesel Fuel (B100) Blend Stock for Distillate Fuel.
(b) On or before January 15, 2008, the department of buildings and general services, department of public service, and agency of transportation jointly shall submit a report to the house and senate committees on institutions, the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy, the house and senate committees on transportation, the house and senate committees on agriculture, the house committee on commerce, the house committee on ways and means, and the senate committee on finance with recommendations on increasing the use of biodiesel blends in state office buildings, state garages, and in the state transportation fleet.
(1) The portion of the report prepared by the department of buildings and general services shall contain:
(A) A summary of the current use of biodiesel blends in state office buildings.
(B) Recommendations on how to increase the use of biodiesel blends in all state office buildings, wherever feasible, to at least five percent biodiesel (B5) by December 31, 2008, and to at least 10 percent biodiesel (B10) by 2012.
(C) A summary of any obstacles to increasing biodiesel use in state buildings.
(D) A proposed work plan to increase biodiesel use.
(2) The portion of the report prepared by the department of public service shall contain:
(A) A summary of the biodiesel fuel production capacity, storage facilities, and distribution facilities currently available in Vermont.
(B) Recommendations for increasing biodiesel fuel production, storage facilities, and distribution facilities.
(C) A summary of current information on the performance of biodiesel blends for use as heating fuel and as a motor vehicle fuel.
(D) A summary of the national and regional quality assurance and quality control measures in use for blending biodiesel fuel.
(E) A proposed work plan to increase biodiesel use.
(3) The portion of the report prepared by the agency of transportation shall contain:
(A) A summary of the current use of biodiesel blends in state garages and the state transportation fleet.
(B) Recommendations on how to increase the use of biodiesel blends in state garages and in the state transportation fleet, wherever feasible, to at least five percent biodiesel (B5) by December 31, 2008, and to at least 10 percent biodiesel (B10) by 2012.
(C) A summary of any obstacles to increasing biodiesel use in state garages and the state transportation fleet.
(D) A proposed work plan to increase biodiesel use.
(c) The department of public service, with representatives of the department of buildings and general services and the agency of transportation present, shall conduct at least one public hearing to review the draft report and to solicit comments prior to finalizing the report.
* * * Energy Efficiency Mortgages * * *
Sec. 40. ENERGY EFFICIENCY MORTGAGES
On or before January 15, 2008, the Vermont housing finance agency and the Vermont economic development authority, respectively, shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy, the house committee on commerce, and the senate committee on finance regarding the feasibility of establishing programs to support energy efficiency residential and commercial building mortgages of up to 15 percent of the appraised value of a dwelling or commercial building for energy saving improvements, weatherization, or energy efficiency for which the monthly mortgage or loan payment does not exceed the likely reduction in utility and heating costs for the dwelling or commercial building.
Sec. 41. 10 V.S.A. § 6025(f) is added to read:
(f) The land use panel, in consultation with the efficiency utility established under 30 V.S.A. § 209(d) or § 203a shall adopt rules to assure that the requirements of subdivision 6086(a)(9)(F) of this title are in concert with the evolution of land use design and planning concepts that occurs in response to global climate change. Other factors to be considered by the land use panel shall include the potential for solar orientation of buildings and increases in fuel prices that shorten lifecycle payback periods for energy efficiency measures These rules shall thereby assure the identification and implementation of the best available technology for the efficient use or recovery of energy. Rules adopted under this subsection shall complement residential and commercial building energy standards accorded presumptive weight under this chapter and shall specifically address areas not covered by those standards.
* * Transportation * * *
Sec. 42 STUDY ON INCENTIVES FOR EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION
(a) There is established a study committee on incentives for efficient transportation. The committee shall include two members of the house appointed by the speaker, one each from the committees on transportation and on natural resources and energy, and two members of the senate appointed by the committee on committees, one each from the committees on transportation and on natural resources and energy. The first member appointed from the Senate and the first member appointed from the House jointly shall convene the committee. In addition, the governor, in consultation with the particular interest group in question, shall appoint one representative each from the following: the automobile dealers association; the truck and bus association; the Vermont association of planning and development agencies; the business community; the environmental community; the commission on climate change; and the public transit association. Other members shall include the secretary of transportation, or a designee; the commissioner of environmental conservation, or a designee; and the commissioner of motor vehicles, or a designee.
(b) By December 15, 2007, the committee shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy and on transportation, to the house committee on ways and means, and to the senate committee on finance with:
(1) Recommendations regarding the use of financial incentives and disincentives that would encourage consumers to purchase vehicles that result in lesser amounts of emissions that contribute to climate change.
(2) An analysis of the role of motor vehicles in creating and contributing to air contaminants in Vermont, and a determination of what portion of overall statewide energy consumption is due to the use of motor vehicles.
(3) Recommendations regarding policy options that would encourage and reward efficient transportation, including supporting alternative modes of transportation.
(4) Recommendations regarding state purchase of motor vehicles and fuels that favor fuel efficiency and improve air quality.
(5) Recommendations for public education regarding clean and efficient transportation.
(6) An analysis of air quality within the state with regard to compliance with national ambient air quality standards, and the prospects of air quality within the state not remaining in attainment of these standards. This analysis should include the impact of non-attainment with the Clean Air Act standards on the health of Vermonters, transportation investment and operations, and business development.
(7) Other recommendations regarding the efficient use of transportation services.
(c) The committee shall be entitled to administrative support from the joint fiscal office and the legislative council.
(d) Legislative members shall be entitled to compensation as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406. The committee may meet up to four times.
* * * Right to Conserve Energy * * *
Sec. 43. 9 V.S.A. chapter 138 is added to read:
Chapter 138. Right to CONSERVE ENERGY
§ 4481. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
The general assembly finds that prohibiting or limiting the ability of people voluntarily to conserve energy is contrary to the public interest. It is the purpose of this chapter to encourage energy conservation by discouraging governmental regulations and practices and private contracts which restrict the use of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy saving devices, or that impede non-motorized transportation on state and town highways.
§ 4482. TRIENNIAL REPORT ON LIMITATIONS ON RIGHT TO
By no later than January 1, 2008, and triennially thereafter, the commissioner of housing and community affairs shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy regarding the extent to which private covenants within the state, in general, restrict the use of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy saving devices, together with any related recommendations on that issue.
* * * Green Building, Efficiency, and
Renewable Energy Workforce Development * * *
Sec. 44. GREEN BUILDING, EFFICIENCY, AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PLAN
(a) Legislative Findings. Vermont must implement a comprehensive green building, energy efficiency, and renewable energy workforce development plan in order to fill the well-paying jobs that will stay in Vermont and are essential to meeting the needs of the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry in order to meet our goals in regard to global climate change.
(b) Workforce development plan. The commissioner of labor shall develop a green building, energy efficiency, and renewable energy workforce development plan, in consultation with representatives to include the following: the apprenticeship program; the building trades; the Vermont workforce development council; the association of weatherization contractors; Efficiency Vermont; Vermont Technical College; the association of general contractors; associated industries of Vermont; Vermont businesses for social responsibility; Vermont fuel dealers association; the coalition for workforce solutions; Renewable Energy Vermont; Vermont small business development centers; the association of vocational-technical schools; the association of adult service coordinators; Vermont green building network; and the green institute for the advancement of sustainability.
(c) Contents of plan. The plan developed under this section shall be included in a written report that shall be presented on or before March 1, 2008 to the house committees on commerce and on ways and means and to the senate committees on economic development, housing and general affairs and on finance. The plan shall include:
(1) Comprehensive recommendations for recruiting and training individuals for employment in the green building and renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. The recommendations shall include goals for secondary and post-secondary schools, other educational institutions, workforce development organizations, and apprenticeship programs.
(2) Recommendations for expanding certification programs for green builders and designers and installers of energy efficiency and renewable energy devices and systems.
(3) Recommendations for incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy training into apprenticeship and other training programs for electricians, plumbers, and other skilled trades persons.
(4) Curricula for business development training and technical assistance for businesses that include green builders, energy efficiency designers and developers, and manufacturers of renewable energy and energy efficiency products.
(5) Enhanced training programs for green builders and designers and weatherization professionals, including how to utilize state-of-the-art tools and materials.
Sec. 45. REPORT ON ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDING INCENTIVES; COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY PLAN UPDATE
(a) The department of public service, in consultation with the efficiency utility, shall work with representatives of the buildings trades, architects, real estate sales professionals, bankers, nonprofit housing providers, and other interested persons to develop recommendations to the general assembly with regard to:
(1) How best to create incentives to encourage the economic development likely to accompany the voluntary use of residential and commercial building practices and material that are best suited to limit the amount of energy consumed and greenhouse gases generated, without creating hardships among the users of the building.
(2) How to assure or facilitate the installation of appropriate and substantial weatherization, particularly with regard to multiple dwellings, rental property, and other instances in which the owner may lack incentives to weatherize because energy costs are paid by a tenant; including the advisability of creating weatherization requirements that must be met at the time of sale.
(3) How to encourage or require better disclosure of building energy efficiency and weatherization leading up to the time of sale of the building.
(b) As part of the next update to the state comprehensive energy plan required by 30 V.S.A. § 202b, the department of public service shall evaluate and make specific recommendations on:
(1) How to increase the energy efficiency of Vermont’s built environment, including strategies to increase the efficiency of new and existing residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, including industrial processes.
(2) How to assure or facilitate the installation of appropriate and substantial weatherization, particularly with regard to multiple dwellings, rental property, and other instances in which the owner may lack incentives to weatherize because energy costs are paid by a tenant; including the advisability of creating weatherization requirements that must be met at the time of sale.
(3) How to encourage or require better disclosure of building energy efficiency and weatherization leading up to the time of sale of the building.
Sec. 46. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect upon passage, except that Sec. 30, adding 30 V.S.A. § 203a, shall take effect upon March, 31, 2008.
And upon passage, the title of the bill shall be revised to read:
AN ACT RELATING TO THE VERMONT ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND AFFORDABILITY ACT
Ann Cummings Robert Dostis
Virginia Lyons Anthony Klein
Richard McCormack Shapleigh Smith
Committee on the part of the Senate Committee on the part of the House
The Committee of Conference, to which were referred the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon Senate Bill, entitled:
AN ACT RELATING TO INCREASING TRANSPARENCY OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICING AND INFORMATION.
Respectfully report that they have met and considered the same and recommend that the Senate accede to the House proposal of amendment.
Committee on the part of the House
Committee on the part of the Senate
Resolution to be Offered by the House Committee on Rules
Joint resolution creating an interim study committee on legislative ethics
Offered by: House Committee on Rules
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That an interim committee on legislative ethics is created and shall consist of five persons, with the current and former legislative members representing each political party currently represented in the general assembly, including: two former members of the general assembly, one of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house and one by the senate committee on committees; two members of the general assembly who have each served a minimum of 10 years in the legislature, one of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house and one by the senate committee on committees; and one person who shall not be a current or former member of the general assembly to be appointed jointly by the speaker of the house and the president pro tempore of the senate, and be it further
Resolved: That the committee shall be directed to:
(1) Evaluate and make recommendations on whether more guidance needs to be provided to members of the general assembly on legislative ethics; and
(2) Review other states that have a citizen legislature and compare those states’ legislative ethics laws and rules with those of Vermont, and be it further
Resolved: That the committee is authorized to meet no more than three times during the 2007 legislative interim and shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the house and senate committees on rules on or before December 15, 2007, and be it further
Resolved: That all persons serving on the committee shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement as provided to members of standing committees under section 406(a) of Title 2.
Concurrent Resolutions for Action under Joint Rule 16
The following joint concurrent resolutions have been introduced for approval by the Senate and House and will be adopted automatically unless a Senator or Representative requests floor consideration before the end of the session of the next legislative day. Requests for floor consideration in either chamber should be communicated to the Secretary’s office and/or the House Clerk’s office, respectively.
House concurrent resolution thanking the utility crews, municipal employees, community organizations, and volunteers who assisted Rutland County in its storm-recovery effort
House concurrent resolution honoring girl scouting in Vermont on the 95thanniversary of Girl Scouts U.S.A.
House concurrent resolution in memory of John Dostal of Bennington
House concurrent resolution congratulating Southern Vermont College on its 80th anniversary
House concurrent resolution congratulating the Destination Imagination teams from Randolph
House concurrent resolution congratulating Nathaniel Alexander Soares on being named the Vermont state winner of the 2007 AXA Achievement Scholarship
House concurrent resolution in memory of Gary Rosen
House concurrent resolution honoring John and Joyce Miner for their devoted service on behalf of Vermont’s veterans
House concurrent resolution honoring retiring town manager Jerome Mann Remillard for his many years of public service in the town of Brattleboro
House concurrent resolution congratulating Hannah McMeekin and Garrett Bauman on their commendable service as United States Senate pages
House concurrent resolution congratulating the 2007 Lamoille Union High School Lady Lancers Division II championship girls’ basketball team
House concurrent resolution congratulating the American Cancer Society on the construction of the outstanding new Hope Lodge in Burlington
House concurrent resolution honoring Brattleboro Fire Chief David J. Emery
House concurrent resolution congratulating Dorothy McGuire of Shaftsbury on her 100th birthday
House concurrent resolution honoring Jane Altobell for her outstanding 35‑year career as the Shaftsbury School nurse
House concurrent resolution honoring Richford assistant town clerk Joyce Wetherby
House concurrent resolution honoring Roger Gendron for his public service on behalf of the citizens of Richford
House concurrent resolution congratulating Gordon DeLong on the completion of his exemplary career as Pittsford town clerk-treasurer
House concurrent resolution in memory of William H. Leach
House concurrent resolution honoring Margaret Larivee for her dedicated public service on behalf of the town of Richford
House concurrent resolution commemorating the proud history of the Catamount Elementary School in Bennington
Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Morgan Lilly and Ethan Verberg for their prize-winning performances at the Vermont State Skills U.S.A. Diesel Competition.
Senate concurrent resolution recognizing the role of former commissioner of banking and insurance George Chaffee in helping to establish the captive insurance industry in Vermont.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street