The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 001 : GENERAL PROVISIONS(Cite as: 30 V.S.A. § 8005b)
§ 8005b. Renewable energy programs; reports
(a) The Department shall file reports with the General Assembly in accordance with this section.
(1) The House Committees on Commerce and Economic Development and on Energy and Technology and the Senate Committees on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, on Finance, and on Natural Resources and Energy each shall receive a copy of these reports.
(2) The Department shall include the components of subsection (b) of this section in its Annual Energy Report required under subsection 202b(e) of this title commencing in 2020 through 2033.
(3) The Department shall include the components of subsection (c) of this section in its Annual Energy Report required under subsection 202b(e) of this title biennially commencing in 2020 through 2033.
(4) The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the reports to be made under this section.
(b) The annual report under this section shall include at least each of the following:
(1) An assessment of the costs and benefits of the RES based on the most current available data, including rate and economic impacts, customer savings, technology deployment, greenhouse gas emission reductions actually achieved, fuel price stability, effect on transmission and distribution upgrade costs, and any recommended changes based on this assessment.
(2) Projections, looking at least 10 years ahead, of the impacts of the RES.
(A) The Department shall employ an economic model to make these projections, to be known as the Consolidated RES Model, and shall consider at least three scenarios based on high, mid-range, and low energy price forecasts.
(B) The Department shall make the model and associated documents available on the Department's website.
(C) In preparing these projections, the Department shall:
(i) characterize each of the model's assumptions according to level of certainty, with the levels being high, medium, and low; and
(ii) provide an opportunity for public comment.
(D) The Department shall project, for the State, the impact of the RES in each of the following areas: electric utility rates; total energy consumption; electric energy consumption; fossil fuel consumption; and greenhouse gas emissions. The report shall compare the amount or level in each of these areas with and without the program.
(3) An assessment of whether the requirements of the RES have been met to date, and any recommended changes needed to achieve those requirements.
(c) The biennial report under this section shall include at least each of the following:
(1) The retail sales, in kWh, of electricity in Vermont during the two preceding calendar years. The report shall include the statewide total and the total sold by each retail electricity provider.
(2) Commencing with the report to be filed in 2019, each retail electricity provider's required amount of renewable energy during the two preceding years using the most recent available data for each category of the RES as set forth in section 8005 of this title.
(3) For the two preceding calendar years, the amounts of renewable energy and tradeable renewable energy credits eligible to satisfy the requirements of sections 8004 and 8005 of this title actually owned by the Vermont retail electricity providers, expressed as a percentage of retail kWh sales. The report shall include the statewide total and the total owned by each retail electricity provider for each of these amounts and shall discuss the progress of each provider toward achieving each of the categories set forth in section 8005 of this title. The report shall summarize the energy transformation projects undertaken pursuant to section 8005 of this title, their costs and benefits, their claimed avoided fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and, if applicable, claimed energy savings.
(4) A summary of the activities of the Standard Offer Program under section 8005a of this title, including the number of plants participating in the Program, the prices paid by the Program, and the plant capacity and average annual energy generation of the participating plants. The report shall present this information as totals for all participating plants and by category of renewable energy technology. The report also shall identify the number of applications received, the number of participating plants under contract, and the number of participating plants actually in service.
(5) An assessment of the energy efficiency and renewable energy markets and recommendations to the General Assembly regarding strategies that may be necessary to encourage the use of these resources to help meet upcoming supply requirements.
(6) An assessment of whether Vermont retail electric rates are rising faster than inflation as measured by the CPI, and a comparison of Vermont's electric rates with electric rates in other New England states and in New York. If statewide average rates have risen faster than inflation over the preceding two or more years, the report shall include an assessment of the contributions to rate increases from various sources, such as the costs of energy and capacity, costs due to construction of transmission and distribution infrastructure, and costs due to compliance with the requirements of sections 8004 and 8005 (RES) and section 8005a (standard offer) of this title. Specific consideration shall be given to the price of renewable energy and the diversity, reliability, availability, dispatch flexibility, and full life cycle cost, including environmental benefits and greenhouse gas reductions, on a net present value basis of renewable energy resources available from suppliers. The report shall include any recommendations for statutory change that arise from this assessment. If electric rates have increased primarily due to cost increases attributable to nonrenewable sources of electricity or to the electric transmission or distribution systems, the report shall include a recommendation regarding whether to increase the size of the annual increase described in subdivision 8005a(c)(1) (standard offer; cumulative capacity; pace) of this title.
(7)(A) Commencing with the report to be filed in 2019, an assessment of whether strict compliance with the requirements of sections 8004 and 8005 (RES) and section 8005a (standard offer) of this title:
(i) has caused one or more providers to raise its retail rates faster over the preceding two or more years than statewide average retail rates have risen over the same time period;
(ii) will cause retail rate increases particular to one or more providers; or
(iii) will impair the ability of one or more providers to meet the public's need for energy services in the manner set forth under subdivision 218c(a)(1) of this title (least-cost integrated planning).
(B) Based on this assessment, consideration of whether statutory changes should be made to grant providers additional flexibility in meeting requirements of sections 8004 and 8005 or section 8005a of this title.
(8) Any recommendations for statutory change related to sections 8004, 8005, and 8005a of this title.
(d) During the preparation of reports under this section, the Department shall provide an opportunity for the public to submit relevant information and recommendations. (Added 2011, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; amended 2015, No. 56, § 6; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 175a; 2019, No. 31, § 5.)