The SWCRPC offers energy planning services for the Region based on available funding sources.  In 2017, the SWCRPC has two new energy planning projects, one for regional energy planning and another to support outreach and technical assistance for local energy planning.  Other energy planning services may be supported through funding such as Municipal Planning Grant funding for municipal plan updates to the Energy Chapter, and Transportation Planning Initiative activities that encourage energy efficient modes of transportation, transportation demand management and a resilient transportation network.

Staff contact: Jason Rasmussen

Act 174
During the 2015 legislative session, Vermont passed Act 174.  Act 174 aims to strengthen local and regional energy planning and give towns and regional planning commissions further input into the siting of energy projects.  Towns and regions that wish to receive “substantial deference” in Section 248 regulatory proceedings for energy projects must meet a set of standards developed by the Department of Public Service (DPS).  It is important to note that towns will not be required to meet the standards, they only need to if they wish to receive “substantial” deference” during regulatory proceedings.  Please visit the DPS website for more information.
Regional Energy Planning
The SWCRPC is currently developing a Regional Energy Plan that will comply with the standards discussed under Act 174 above.  The plan will contain an energy alternatives analysis, maps of regional resources and constraints, regional targets, and transportation and land use strategies needed to achieve the targets.  Once a draft of the plan has been developed, the SWCRPC will conduct outreach to gather the public’s input.  Please check back here or sign up for the SWCRPC’s newsletter for project updates.
Town Energy Planning
The SWCRPC has a new contract that enables us to assist towns with local energy planning.  This effort will involve two key components:

  1. Outreach to municipalities and the general public about Act 174; and,
  2. Local technical assistance with municipal energy planning.

Our first outreach meeting was held on December 8, 2016 in Springfield.  A second meeting was held on May 15, 2017 in Cavendish.

We are currently assisting Andover, Ludlow and Springfield to develop enhanced municipal energy plans by the end of July 2017.

For more information about the requirements for Act 174 enhanced energy plans, visit the Department of Public Service website.

Below are data and maps to support enhanced energy planning in each town:

Energy Planning Resources