Vermonters for a Clean Environment has released a report, Understanding Vermont’s Energy Policies. It describes five current policies, and explains how they are not doing what Vermonters expect regarding energy policy and consumption. The five policies the paper reviews are:
· Renewable Energy Standard (RES)
· standard-offer program
· net-metering program
· Act 174’s energy planning process
· Arbitrage with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)
Most Vermonters accept the reality of climate change and support the transition to renewable energy from fossil fuels; however, if Vermonters truly want better energy policies and outcomes, the discourse and procedures must be comprehensible and honest, with considerably more transparency. Currently, only the industrial scale developers, utilities, and regulators have a firm grasp on Vermont’s energy policy maze.
“Most Vermonters would be stunned to know that we have actually seen an increase in carbon emissions due to our current energy policies,” said Annette Smith, Executive Director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE). “From public discourse to date, it appears most Vermonters do not realize we get little renewable energy from our State’s wind and solar developments, while simultaneously costing ratepayers significantly more money,” Smith added.
Smith commented that currently, Vermont is meeting energy goals with monetary and paper transactions, not with honesty and transparency in terms of costs, profits and benefits. Additionally, any transition to renewables has to include less energy consumption.
As the report summary states, “The best possible outcomes are achieved when all stakeholders – utilities, developers, regulators, property owners, investors and communities – are well informed partners in transparent and equitable solutions.”
“VCE’s goal”, says Smith, “is to provide Vermonters with a solid understanding of what they are and are not getting from current policy, and help inform energy policy going forward.”
To read VCE’s report, go to