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 developed a 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.  It was adopted on June 25, 2018 after two duly-warned public hearings.  It becomes effective July 30, 2018.  On September 14, 2018, the Vermont Public Service Department issued a Certificate of Energy Compliance for the Regional Plan and Regional Energy Plan.  The plan can be downloaded on our Publications webpage.  Please contact Jason Rasmussen if you have questions or comments.

Town Energy Planning

The SWCRPC has a contract that enables us to continue assisting towns with local energy planning.  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 here.

As of August 2018, Ludlow is the only municipality that has an adopted enhanced energy plan.  It is included within the Ludlow Municipal Plan and it can be downloaded from Ludlow’s website.

Other towns are currently working on draft or final draft enhanced energy plans, including Andover, Chester, Reading, Springfield, and Windsor.  Baltimore is currently reviewing a draft solar siting policy at this time.

Below are draft energy plans as well as data and maps for each town:

Energy Planning Resources

Many resources and tools area available to guide local energy planning efforts, such as the following: