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 has developed a draft Regional Energy Plan to comply with the standards discussed under Act 174 above.  The plan contains an energy analysis, maps of regional resources and constraints, regional energy targets, and strategies needed to achieve the energy goals.  In the summer of 2017, a preliminary draft was submitted to the Vermont Department of Public Service for a “pre-review”.  We received the results of the pre-review in November 2017.  A revised draft document has now been compiled for public review and comment.  It can be downloaded below:

Please contact Jason Rasmussen if you have questions or comments.

Town Energy Planning
The SWCRPC has a contract that enables us to continue assisting up to three towns with local energy planning for a second year in 2018.  This effort will involve providing local technical assistance with municipal energy planning in accordance with Act 174 and the related standards developed by the Department of Public Service.

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

A guidance document was created in 2017 that outlines best practices for municipal enhanced energy planning.  The document can be downloaded below.  The Best Practices document includes a number of references from Ludlow’s draft Enhanced Energy Plan.  As of November 2017, Ludlow’s plan is in the middle of the local adoption process.  The final draft Ludlow plan may serve as an example and it can be downloaded below:

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

Energy Planning Resources