The Vermont Statutes Online
Chapter 005 : STATE POLICY; PLANS; JURISDICTION AND REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF COMMISSION AND DEPARTMENT
Subchapter 001 : General Powers(Cite as: 30 V.S.A. § 202b)
§ 202b. State Comprehensive Energy Plan
(a) The Department of Public Service, in conjunction with other State agencies designated by the Governor, shall prepare a State Comprehensive 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, including meeting the State's greenhouse gas emissions reductions requirements pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 578, and shall be consistent with the relevant goals of 24 V.S.A. § 4302 and with the Vermont Climate Action Plan adopted and updated pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 592. The State Comprehensive Energy 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;
(2) recommendations for State implementation actions, regulation, legislation, and other public and private action to carry out the Comprehensive Energy Plan, including recommendations for State agency energy plans under 3 V.S.A. § 2291 and transportation planning under Title 19; and
(3) recommendations for regional and municipal energy planning and standards for issuing a determination of energy compliance pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 4352.
(b) In developing or updating the Plan's recommendations, the Department of Public Service shall seek public comment by holding public hearings in at least five different geographic regions of the State on at least three different dates, and by providing notice through publication once a week and at least seven days apart for two or more successive weeks in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the regions where the hearings will be held, and by delivering notices to all licensed commercial radio and television stations with transmitting facilities within the State, plus Vermont Public Radio and Vermont Educational Television.
(c) The Department shall adopt the State Comprehensive Energy Plan on or before January 1, 2016 and shall readopt the Plan on or before every sixth January 15 thereafter. On adoption or readoption, the Plan shall be submitted to the General Assembly. The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to such submission.
(1) Upon adoption of the Plan, analytical portions of the Plan may be updated and published biennially.
(2) Every fourth year after the adoption or readoption of a Plan under this section, the Department shall publish the manner in which the Department will engage the public in the process of readopting the Plan under this section.
(3) The publication requirements of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection may be met by inclusion of the subject matter in the Department's biennial report.
(4) The Plan's implementation recommendations shall be updated by the Department no less frequently than every six years. These recommendations shall be updated prior to the expiration of six years if the General Assembly passes a joint resolution making a request to that effect. If the Department proposes or the General Assembly requests the revision of implementation recommendations, the Department shall hold public hearings on the proposed revisions.
(d) Distribution of the Plan to members of the General Assembly shall be in accordance with the provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(a)-(c).
(e) The Commissioner of Public Service (Commissioner) shall file an annual report on progress in meeting the goals of the Plan. The report shall address each of the following sectors of energy consumption in the State: electricity, nonelectric fuels for thermal purposes, and transportation. In preparing the report, the Commissioner shall consult with the Secretaries of Administration, of Agriculture, Food and Markets, of Natural Resources, and of Transportation and the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services.
(1) The Commissioner shall file the report on or before January 15 of each year, commencing in 2019. The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) shall not apply to this report.
(2) The Commissioner shall file the report with the House Committees on Energy and Technology and on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife and with the Senate Committees on Finance and on Natural Resources and Energy.
(3) For each sector, the report shall provide:
(A) In millions of British thermal units (MMBTUs) for the most recent calendar year for which data are available, the total amount of energy consumed, the amount of renewable energy consumed, and the percentage of renewable energy consumed. For the electricity sector, the report shall also state the amounts in megawatt hours (MWH) and the Vermont and New England summer and winter peak electric demand, including the hour and day of peak demand.
(B) Projections of the energy reductions and shift to renewable energy expected to occur under existing policies, technologies, and markets. The most recent available data shall be used to inform these projections and shall be provided as a supplement to the data described in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3).
(C) Recommendations of policies to further the renewable energy goals set forth in statute and the Plan, along with an evaluation of the relative cost-effectiveness of different policy approaches.
(4) The report shall include a supplemental analysis setting forth how progress toward the goals of the Plan is supported by complementary work in avoiding or reducing energy consumption through efficiency and demand reduction. In this subdivision (4), "demand reduction" includes dispatchable measures, such as controlling appliances that consume energy, and nondispatchable measures, such as weatherization.
(5) The report shall include recommendations on methods to enhance the process for planning, tracking, and reporting progress toward meeting statutory energy goals and the goals of the Plan. Such recommendations may include the consolidation of one or more periodic reports filed by the Department or other State agencies relating to renewable energy, with proposals for amending the statutes relevant to those reports.
(6) The report shall include a summary of the following information for each sector:
(A) major changes in relevant markets, technologies, and costs;
(B) average Vermont prices compared to the other New England states, based on the most recent available data; and
(C) significant Vermont and federal incentive programs that are relevant to one or more of the sectors.
(7) The report shall include any activity that occurs under the Vermont Small Hydropower Assistance Program, the Vermont Village Green Program, and the Fuel Efficiency Fund. (Added 1981, No. 236 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 1991, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2013, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. Feb. 4, 2014; 2015, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2017, No. 74, § 124; 2017, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2019, No. 31, § 4; 2019, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. Sept. 22, 2020.)