Vermont reduces incentives for renewable energy program


MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – Vermont regulators are reducing the financial incentives for electric customers who install renewable energy systems such as solar panels and get a credit on their bills for providing power to the grid.

The Vermont Public Utility Commission says the “net-metering” program is the most expensive of Vermont’s renewable energy programs because the utility is essentially buying the energy at higher-than-market rates. It says the rates to customers need to be reduced to balance the development pace of these projects and the program’s impact on electric rates.

Renewable energy advocates say they expected the rates to go down, but not so much, and say the drop will be detrimental to Vermont’s renewable energy future. The decrease will be phased in over two years and affect only future projects.