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Vermont Utilities Promise 75 Percent Renewable Energy Use by 2032

The state energy provider will also be required to invest in “energy transformation” projects to directly reduce fossil fuel consumption.

The Vermont Public Service Board has released the standards that dictate how the state will consume energy over the next decade and a half.

In its Renewable Energy Standard document (PDF), the state board has laid out three requirements for utilities, headlined by mandating the procurement of 75 percent of the electricity sold to customers to be from renewable sources by 2032.

For 2017, the requirement will be for 55 percent to be taken from renewable methods. Additionally, the state has added on a unique provision requiring that of these amounts, at least 1 percent must come from new, distributed renewable generators, such as net-metering systems. The provision will increase to 10 percent by 2032.

This requirement is unique in that it allows utilities more flexibility and creativity in reducing Vermont's reliance on fossil fuels.

In a press release (PDF), the board mandated that by 2032, state utility providers must demonstrate fossil fuel savings equivalent to 12 percent of their annual revenue as an energy transformation category.

Utilities would be able to meet the requirements through investing in measures like weatherization of homes and businesses, the installation of cold-climate heat pumps, and clean vehicle technologies.

According to the Energy Information Administration State Energy Data System, Vermont currently ranks 21st in renewable energy production, at 32.1 percent. The primary energy sources come from hydroelectric and biomass production.

The standards will take effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

Ryan McCauley was a staff writer for Government Technology magazine from October 2016 through July 2017, and previously served as the publication's editorial assistant.