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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 30 : Public Service

Chapter 089 : Renewable Energy Programs

Subchapter 001 : General Provisions

(Cite as: 30 V.S.A. § 8002)
  • § 8002. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) “Commission” means the Public Utility Commission under section 3 of this title.

    (2) “Commissioned” or “commissioning” means the first time a plant is put into operation following initial construction or modernization if the costs of modernization are at least 50 percent of the costs that would be required to build a new plant including all buildings and structures technically required for the new plant’s operation. However, these terms shall not include activities necessary to establish operational readiness of a plant.

    (3) “CPI” means the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, designated as “CPI-U,” in the northeast region, as published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    (4) “Customer” means a retail electric consumer.

    (5) “Department” means the Department of Public Service under section 1 of this title, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

    (6) “Energy conversion efficiency” means the effective use of energy and heat from a combustion process.

    (7) “Environmental attributes” means the characteristics of a plant that enable the energy it produces to qualify as renewable energy and include any and all benefits of the plant to the environment such as avoided emissions or other impacts to air, water, or soil that may occur through the plant’s displacement of a nonrenewable energy source.

    (8) “Existing renewable energy” means renewable energy produced by a plant that came into service prior to or on June 30, 2015.

    (9) “Greenhouse gas reduction credits” shall be as defined in section 8006a of this title.

    (10) “Group net metering system” means a net metering system serving more than one customer, or a single customer with multiple electric meters, located within the service area of the same retail electricity provider. Various buildings owned by municipalities, including water and wastewater districts, fire districts, villages, school districts, and towns, may constitute a group net metering system. A union or district school facility may be considered in the same group net metering system with buildings of its member schools that are located within the service area of the same retail electricity provider.

    (11) “kW” means kilowatt or kilowatts (AC).

    (12) “kWh” means kW hour or hours.

    (13) “MW” means megawatt or megawatts (AC).

    (14) “MWH” means MW hour or hours.

    (15) “Net metering” means measuring the difference between the electricity supplied to a customer and the electricity fed back by the customer’s net metering system during the customer’s billing period:

    (A) using a single, non-demand meter or such other meter that would otherwise be applicable to the customer’s usage but for the use of net metering; or

    (B) if the system serves more than one customer, using multiple meters. The calculation shall be made by converting all meters to a non-demand, non-time-of-day meter, and equalizing them to the tariffed kWh rate.

    (16) “Net metering system” means a plant for generation of electricity that:

    (A) is of no more than 500 kW capacity;

    (B) operates in parallel with facilities of the electric distribution system;

    (C) is intended primarily to offset the customer’s own electricity requirements and does not primarily supply electricity to electric vehicle supply equipment, as defined in section 201 of this title, for the resale of electricity to the public by the kWh or for other retail sales to the public, including those based in whole or in part on a flat fee per charging session or a time-based fee for occupying a parking space while using electric vehicle supply equipment; and

    (D)(i) employs a renewable energy source; or

    (ii) is a qualified micro-combined heat and power system of 20 kW or fewer that meets the definition of combined heat and power in subsection 8015(b) of this title and uses any fuel source that meets air quality standards.

    (17) “New renewable energy” means renewable energy produced by a specific and identifiable plant coming into service after June 30, 2015.

    (A) Energy from within a system of generating plants that includes renewable energy shall not constitute new renewable energy, regardless of whether the system includes specific plants that came or come into service after June 30, 2015.

    (B) “New renewable energy” also may include the additional energy from an existing renewable energy plant retrofitted with advanced technologies or otherwise operated, modified, or expanded to increase the kWh output of the plant in excess of an historical baseline established by calculating the average output of that plant for the 10-year period that ended June 30, 2015. If the production of new renewable energy through changes in operations, modification, or expansion involves combustion of the resource, the system also must result in an incrementally higher level of energy conversion efficiency or significantly reduced emissions.

    (18) “Plant” means an independent technical facility that generates electricity from renewable energy. A group of facilities, such as wind turbines, shall be considered one plant if the group is part of the same project and uses common equipment and infrastructure such as roads, control facilities, and connections to the electric grid. Common ownership, contiguity in time of construction, and proximity of facilities to each other shall be relevant to determining whether a group of facilities is part of the same project.

    (19) “Plant capacity” means the rated electrical nameplate for a plant, except that, in the case of a solar energy plant, the term shall mean the aggregate AC nameplate capacity of all inverters used to convert the plant’s output to AC power.

    (20) “Plant owner” means a person who has the right to sell electricity generated by a plant.

    (21) “Renewable energy” means energy produced using a technology that relies on a resource that is being consumed at a harvest rate at or below its natural regeneration rate.

    (A) For purposes of this subdivision (21), methane gas and other flammable gases produced by the decay of sewage treatment plant wastes or landfill wastes and anaerobic digestion of agricultural products, byproducts, or wastes, or of food wastes shall be considered renewable energy resources, but no other form of solid waste, other than silvicultural waste, shall be considered renewable.

    (B) For purposes of this subdivision (21), no form of nuclear fuel shall be considered renewable.

    (C) The only portion of electricity produced by a system of generating resources that shall be considered renewable is that portion generated a technology that qualifies as renewable under this subdivision (21).

    (D) The Commission by rule may add technologies or technology categories to the definition of “renewable energy,” provided that technologies using the following fuels shall not be considered renewable energy supplies: coal, oil, propane, and natural gas.

    (E) In this chapter, renewable energy refers to either “existing renewable energy” or “new renewable energy.”

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

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

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

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

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

    (B) Renewable pricing programs may include:

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

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

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

    (23) “Retail electricity provider” or “provider” means a company engaged in the distribution or sale of electricity directly to the public.

    (24) “Standard Offer Facilitator” means an entity appointed by the Commission pursuant to subsection 8005a(a) of this title.

    (25) [Repealed.]

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

    (A) those attributes are transferred or recorded separately from that unit of energy;

    (B) the party claiming ownership of the tradeable renewable energy credits has acquired the exclusive legal ownership of all, and not less than all, the environmental attributes associated with that unit of energy; and

    (C) exclusive legal ownership can be verified through an auditable contract path or pursuant to the system established or authorized by the Commission or any program for tracking and verification of the ownership of environmental attributes of energy legally recognized in any state and approved by the Commission.

    (27) “Vermont composite electric utility system” means the combined generation, transmission, and distribution resources along with the combined retail load requirements of the Vermont retail electricity providers.

    (28) “Energy transformation project” means an undertaking that provides energy-related goods or services but does not include or consist of the generation of electricity and that results in a net reduction in fossil fuel consumption by the customers of a retail electricity provider and in the emission of greenhouse gases attributable to that consumption. Examples of energy transformation projects may include home weatherization or other thermal energy efficiency measures; air source or geothermal heat pumps; high efficiency heating systems; increased use of biofuels; biomass heating systems; support for transportation demand management strategies; support for electric vehicles or related infrastructure; and infrastructure for the storage of renewable energy on the electric grid.

    (29) “RES” means the Renewable Energy Standard established under sections 8004 and 8005 of this title.

    (30) “Energy storage facility” has the same meaning as in section 201 of this title. (Added 2003, No. 69, § 1, eff. June 17, 2003; amended 2005, No. 61, § 2; 2007, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 19; 2009, No. 45, § 2, eff. May 27, 2009; 2009, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. July 1, 2012; 2011, No. 47, § 7, eff. May 25, 2011 and § 18; 2011, No. 125 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2011, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 18, 2012 and § 10; 2013, No. 89, § 14; 2013, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2017; 2015, No. 56, § 25; 2017, No. 53, § 11; 2019, No. 59, § 33, eff. June 14, 2019; 2019, No. 81, § 4; 2021, No. 54, § 10.)