MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The administration of Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin wants to make it easier for utility customers to get credit for extra electricity they produce from small-scale renewable energy projects by raising caps that prevent new projects from going online.
The existing net metering program that allows residents to generate their own power through renewable sources such as solar, wind and biomass limits the amount of power that can be sold back to utilities at 4 percent of peak demand for each utility. But all Vermont electric utilities except Green Mountain Power have reached that 4 percent cap.
Darren Springer of the Department of Public Service said that when Shumlin took office in 2011, small projects generated about 12 megawatts of power. Now there are more than 38 megawatts from installed or pending systems.
Springer said that over the summer officials met with lawmakers, utilities and stakeholders to create a proposal to change the cap, but the administration has nothing "firm and final to announce yet."
A plan will be presented to lawmakers next month.
"We've been trying to synthesize that into a proposal the Legislature can consider right when they come back," Springer told the Rutland Herald (http://bit.ly/1cQG2Ad). "We're going to bring forward our ideas on what to do with the program and how to move forward, how to move forward the caps so that people can continue to participate."