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Vermont Net-Metering Rules

Date Last Updated8/13/2014
Policy TypeNet-Metering Policy
Policy Administrator/Contact OfficeVermont Department of Public Service
Policy Initiation Date4/21/1998
Policy SummaryNet-metering legislation, which includes provisions for CHP, was enacted for the first time in Vermont in 1998, and has been amended several times, most recently by HB 702 of 2014. HB 702 now allows for any electric customer in Vermont to net meter after obtaining a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB). HB 702 passed in 2014 creates a process to revise the State's net metering program by January 1, 2017. The Department of Public Service is charged with preparing a report by October 1, 2014 that evaluates the current state of net metering in Vermont. Net-metering is generally available to systems up to 500 kW in capacity that generate electricity using eligible renewable energy resources, including CHP systems that use biomass. CHP systems that use a non-renewable fuel are allowed to net meter, but are limited to micro-CHP systems up to 20 kW.

A net-metering system is one that meets the size definition provided in the rules, operates in parallel with facilities of the electric distribution system, is intended primarily to offset the customer's own electricity requirements; is located on the customer's premises or, in the case of a group net-metering system, on the premises of a customer who is a member of the group; and employs a renewable energy resource or is a qualified micro-CHP system.

"Renewable energy" is defined as "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." Biogas from sewage-treatment plants and landfills, and anaerobic digestion of agricultural products, byproducts and wastes are explicitly included.

A CHP facility is defined as "a generator that sequentially produces both electric power and thermal energy from a single source or fuel. In order for a fossil fuel-based CHP system to participate in the clean energy program set out in this section, at least 20% of its fuel's total recovered energy must be thermal and at least 13% must be electric, the design system efficiency (the sum of full load design thermal output and electric output divided by the heat input) must be at least 65%, and it must meet air quality standards established by the agency of natural resources".

Net-metering is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the cumulative capacity of net-metered systems equals 5% of a utility?s peak demand during 1996 or the peak demand during the most recent full calendar year, whichever is greater. Renewable energy facilities established on military property for on-site military consumption may net-meter for systems up to 2.2 MW. Net excess generation is carried forward as a kWh credit to the next month. Any NEG not used within 12-months will be granted to the utility. Net metering is also available under a time-of-use metering arrangement. All renewable energy credits associated with the electricity produced by the system remain with the customer.
CHP Eligibility RequirementsFossil-fueled and Renewably-fueled CHP systems are eligible for net-metering. Fossil-fueled CHP systems are limited to 20 kW in size. Renewably-fueled systems are generally limited to 500 kW in size.
Eligible Project Size (MW)Up to 20 kW for micro-CHP, up to 2.2 MW for military facilities, and up to 500 kW for all other systems are eligible for net-metering.
Minimum Efficiency Required/
Other Performance Requirements
For fossil-fueled CHP to qualify, at least 20% of its fuel's total recovered energy must be thermal and at least 13% must be electric, the design system efficiency must be at least 65%.
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