Take Advantage of Vermont Solar Panel Laws to Save Money
Renewable Portfolio Standard
Vermont’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is one of the most ambitious in the nation, second only to Hawaii’s. State law requires that, by 2017, an impressive 55% of all electricity come from renewable sources such as solar panels.
This law forces utility companies to help customers make the transition to solar power, because if they don’t meet these goals, they will end up having to pay fines to the state government.
Utility companies are required by law to monitor energy produced by their customers’ solar power systems. Any excess production is then credited to the customers’ electric bill at the going rate (retail price).
However, if the credits are not all used within twelve months, the customer loses them. They are not rolled forward to the next year or refunded. Credits are given for up to 500 kW, with a cap at 15% of peak demand.
Vermont law prevents utility companies from charging more than the standard fees on solar power systems. Thus, interconnection, standby, and capacity fees cannot be marked up.
Renewable Energy Credits
When your solar power system produces energy, you receive a renewable energy credit, or REC.
One unique law in Vermont is that, even if you get a performance payment from a utility company such as Green Mountain Power, you can still keep your RECs. You can then sell those RECs on the energy market in other states.
Despite Vermont’s high RPS and other favorable solar power laws, unlike many states, it has no solar power rebates or income tax credits.