MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont Gov. Pete Shumlin on Monday unveiled his plan to pay for promoting renewable energy development without relying on a surcharge to customers.
The governor said he wants to use money in the Clean Energy Development Fund to pay for the upfront grants, rather than tax credits.
Twenty-three Vermont renewable energy developers got a total of about $8.5 million in tax credits to be taken over five years. Now, Shumlin said he wants to give them an option: the tax credit or half as much money in the form of an upfront cash payment when their project is up and running.
The governor and Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said they expected enough developers would take the upfront cash to save the fund between $2.7 million and $3 million. That’s more than the $2.38 million that would have been raised by a proposed 55-cent electric bill surcharge.
Shumlin said the fund would have sufficient cash “without raising 55 cents a month on Vermonters’ electric bills at a time when Vermonters are hard-pressed to pay their bills and afford $4-a-gallon gas.”