(Vermont) Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive


Vermont’s Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program, initiated in June 2003, provides funding for new solar water heating, solar electric (photovoltaic), wind, and micro-hydro energy system installations. Currently in its seventh round of funding (almost $4.1 million dollars), the program is available to single- and multi-family residences, commercial and industrial businesses, farms, schools, builders/developers, and local & state governments. Vermont also allows third party owned and leasing entities to receive rebates at slightly different amounts, those are included below. This year Vermont added an efficiency adder to encourage Vermonter’s to complete an audit or participate in specific efficiency programs (such as Energy Star Homes). Only systems installed by pre-approved installers will be eligible for funding. Funding must be reserved and applications approved before expenditures are made. Once solar (PV or Water Heating) or wind reservations are granted, applicants have six months to complete their projects and submit the final application. Current incentives are as follows:

Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
Residential PV: $0.55/Watt (W) generating capacity (DC) up to 10 kilowatts (kW).  Total maximum incentive is $5,500. An additional efficiency adder may be available: $0.15/W (cap: $350).

Commercial PV: $0.55/W DC up to 10 kW, $0.50/W DC 10 kW to 25 kW. Efficiency adder: $0.15/W (cap: $450). Total maximum incentive is $13,000.

Special Category (government, non-profit, schools, hospitals, low-income multi-family) PV: $2.10/W DC up to 10 kW, $1.40/W DC for next 40 kW (up to 50 kW). Efficiency adder: $0.15/W (cap: $450). Maximum incentive $77,000 or up to 50% of project costs, whichever is less.

Solar Hot Water
Residential Solar Hot Water: $1.50/100 British thermal unit/day (Btu/d) up to 200 kBtu/d, efficiency adder of $0.50/100Btu/day ($350 cap), with a total maximum of $3,000.

Commercial Solar Hot Water: $1.50/100 Btu/d up to 1100 kBtu/d, efficiency adder of $0.50/100Btu/day ($450 cap), with a total maximum of $16,500.

Special Category Solar Hot Water: $3.00/100 Btu/d up to 1,500 kBtu/d, efficiency adder of $0.50/100Btu/day ($450 cap), with a total maximum of $45,000 or 50% of the costs, whichever is less.

In 2012, the wind incentive went back to a hybrid (capacity-based + performance-based) incentive originally proposed in 2010.   The first part of the incentive is paid upon successful installation and the second part is paid after one year and is calculated using the turbine’s actual production data.  This incentive program design aims to support well-sited wind turbines.

Residential Wind: Maximum incentive is $30,000 for one turbine up to 10 kW.

Commercial Wind: Maximum incentive is $180,000 for one turbine up to 100 kW.

Special Category Wind: Maximum incentive not stipulated.

Micro hydro
Micro-hydro installations are eligible for incentives up to $8,750 (or $17,500 in the case of special category projects).

For more information on the program, eligible installers, remaining funds, and installations to date, visit the official program web site.


Note: This program re-opened in September 2012 after the Clean Energy Development Fund Board added $1.25 million to the program. The funding will be available until early 2013. The fate of this program after 2013 is uncertain.

Program Overview:
State: Vermont
Incentive Type: State Rebate Program
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, Construction, State Government, Tribal Government, Multi-Family Residential, Low-Income Residential, Agricultural, Institutional
Amount: Varies depending on technology and eligible sector
Maximum Incentive: Varies depending on technology and eligible sector
Eligible System Size: Varies depending on technology
Equipment Requirements: PV: New, grid connected; modules must be UL 1703 listed; inverters must be UL 1741-listed or listed by another nationally recognized testing laboratory.
Solar water heating: New equipment; collectors must have an OG-100 output rating from SRCC or an equivalent organization.
Wind: Must be listed by NYSERDA as an eligible turbine or undergoing testing by SWCC and must be new, grid-connected; inverters must be UL 1741 listed or listed by another nationally recognized testing laboratory. Roof-top mounted wind systems are not eligible.
All systems: 5-year warranty required on major system components and installation, with the exception of batteries, for which a 2-year warranty is required.
Installation Requirements: Must be installed by registered Vermont Partners (no self-install). All grid-connected projects (solar PV, Wind) must apply for, secure, and provide proof that the Vermont Public Service Board has issued a Certificate of Public Good.
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Not addressed
Funding Source: State, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) State Energy Program (SEP) funds
Program Budget: Current round (starting September 2012): $1,250,000
Start Date: 6/17/2003 (initial funding)
Expiration Date: 2013
Web Site: http://www.rerc-vt.org/incentives/forms.htm
Authority 1:
Date Effective:
Act 69 of 2003
6/17/2003 (initial funding)

Public Information (RERC)
Renewable Energy Resources Center
Vermont Renewable Energy Incentive Program
128 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 401
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: (877) 888-7372
Fax: (802) 658-1643
E-Mail: rerc@veic.org
Web Site: http://www.rerc-vt.org

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