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Ruling Affirms Vermont's Change Of Course On Renewable Energy

A draft ruling by utility regulators in Connecticut says the Vermont Legislature is on the right track as it tries to make this state's renewable energy laws conform with the rest of New England.

The case before Connecticut regulators had threatened the multi-million dollar annual trade in “renewable energy credits” sold by Vermont power companies to meet other states' green energy requirements. For example, renewable credits from a Vermont wind project can be sold to a power company in Connecticut so the Connecticut company can claim it's met that state's mandated goals to reduce greenhouse gases.

But Connecticut regulators were concerned that the credits were being double counted -- here in Vermont and in other states.

The draft ruling says legislation that just passed the Vermont House should address the double counting issue.

Darren Springer, Vermont's deputy public service commissioner, says the ruling affirms the state is on the right course.   

"They seem to be indicating that if the legislation was to become enacted it would resolve the issues and ensure that we have a compatible program with the rest of the region, which is exactly the rationale for why moving [the legislation] in 2015 was so important,” he says.

The bill is now before the Senate. It says Vermont utilities must get 55 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2017.

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