For Immediate Release: December 17, 2013
Montpelier, VT – A report released by the national Solar Energy Industries Association put Vermont ahead of all but four other states in the country for solar installed per person in quarter three of this year – the period from July through September. That achievement was made more remarkable by the fact that the period saw more solar installed nationally than in all but one quarter in the history of the US solar industry.1
“It’s no accident solar is taking off in Vermont,” said Ben Walsh, Clean Energy Advocate with the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. “Our state has made a conscious decision to make going solar easier and more affordable, and that’s led directly to the kind of growth we saw this summer.”
The report comes just weeks before the Vermont legislature is expected to take up a bill to expand Vermont’s most successful solar program, net metering, which allows Vermonters to go renewable and offset their electric bills with the power generated by their solar or other renewable system. Vermont’s net metering policies are widely considered to be among the best in the nation.2
“When you find something that works as well as net metering does, you build on that success,” said Walsh. “We’re looking forward to working with the legislature to do just that, so even more Vermonters can go solar. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be number one.”
The report, and Vermont’s success in solar, was also praised by the state Public Service Department, which oversees the electric sector in Vermont.
“Vermonters can be proud that our state is taking a leadership role in deploying solar energy, which cuts greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the need for costly transmission investments,
said Darren Springer, Deputy Commissioner at the Public Service Department. “Since the start of 2011, we have more than tripled the amount of solar capacity in Vermont. This demonstrates to the nation that with strong renewable energy policies, and equally strong support in our communities, there is no limit to the potential for solar energy.”
Business leaders highlighted the jobs solar has created and the money it has saved Vermonters.
“Solar’s success in Vermont has created jobs not just in installation, but also in manufacturing and assembling, with dozens of companies and hundreds of jobs in the sector,” said Gabrielle Stebbins, Executive Director with Renewable Energy Vermont. “On top of that, Vermonters are able to keep money in Vermont by generating energy locally, and ratepayers save money since solar reduces our demand for electricity on hot summer days, which is when we pay the most for electricity. It’s smart business sense in every way.”