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Public Service Department Issues Determination of Energy Compliance

The Commissioner of the Department of Public Service has issued an affirmative determination that the Bennington County Regional Plan and the Bennington County Regional Energy Plan comply with the requirements of 24 V.S.A. § 4352 for enhanced energy planning. This determination, the first such certificate granted under Vermont’s new Act 174 energy planning law, is based solely on the plans’ compliance with the statutory planning requirements.

The BCRC spent over two years developing the new energy plan, technically an amendment to the comprehensive regional plan. Both documents can be downloaded at www.bcrcvt.org. The regional energy plan is intended to provide a policy framework, and to suggest specific actions that will assist in advancing the state’s energy goals; specifically, the goal of obtaining 90 percent of energy for all uses from renewable sources by 2050.

With the certification, the Regional Plan now has an elevated status in Section 248 regulatory proceedings before the Public service board, and the BCRC now has the authority to make similar determinations regarding the consistency of municipal plans with Act 174.