The SWCRPC provides local technical assistance with municipal energy planning in accordance with Act 174 and the related standards developed by the Department of Public Service.
Municipal plans are required to include an energy analysis and have policy statements on energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources, and land uses likely to result in energy conservation [24 V.S.A. §4382 (a)(9)].
Developing an “enhanced energy plan” gives a municipality greater influence in Section 248 procedures, but adopting an enhanced energy plan is optional. Enhanced energy plans have additional requirements under 24 V.S.A. §4352 and Department of Public Service Guidance for Municipal Enhanced Energy Planning Standards. For an overview of Act 174 and the requirements for enhanced energy planning, see the Vermont Department of Public Service’s website.
As of May 2019, Andover and Ludlow have adopted local enhanced energy plans. The SWCRPC issued a Certificate of Energy Compliance for Ludlow’s Municipal Plan. Andover has not submitted a request for energy compliance yet. In 2018 Baltimore amended their Town Plan with community standards for solar projects. All other municipalities in the region have draft enhanced energy plans in various stages of development at this time. For a summary of adopted municipal enhanced energy plans, see VAPDA’s website.
Submission requirements for the SWCRPC to review municipal plans for a determination of enhanced energy planning compliance are summarized here.