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Land Use Planning


Act 174 and Energy Planning

Regional and municipal plans currently receive "Due Consideration" in the Section 248 siting process. Act 174 was passed in 2016, which establishes a new set of energy planning standards for municipal and regional plans.


Plans that meet these standards will be given an affirmative "determination of energy compliance" and will receive "Substantial Deference" in the Public Service Board's Section 248 siting process. Meeting these standards is entirely voluntary; if regions and municipalities do not wish to update their plans, they will continue to receive "Due Consideration" in the Section 248 process.


If your town wishes to seek a determination of energy compliance for your plan, you must submit your plan directly to Department of Public Service, along with this completed checklist. After July 1, 2018, any town seeking an affirmative determination will need to submit the plan to the Regional Planning Commission, who can only approve the plan IF the regional plan has received a similar determination of energy compliance from the Department of Public Service. After July 1, 2018, municipalities will not be able to seek a determination of energy compliance directly from the Department of Public Service.


You can find more information on recommendations and standards from the Vermont Department of Public Service here.


Here are frequently asked questions about Act 174.


On December 15, NVDA made a public presentation about Act 174. Here is a copy of the presentation slides.


The Brighter Vermont Community Energy Dashboard has an interactive suite of tools and resources that can help your town obtain data, track progress, and set goals toward reaching the statewide energy plan goal of meeting 90% of its energy needs through efficiency and renewable sources by 2050.

Full Draft PROPOSED NVDA Energy Plan

The proposed energy plan has been released for discussion on 6.30.17. Click here to review.

Proposed resource maps:

Caledonia: Solar, Wind, Hydro, Woody Biomass

Essex: Solar, Wind, Hydro, Woody Biomass

Orleans: Solar, Wind, Hydro, Woody Biomass

Municipal Energy Profiles and Targets for Meeting 90 X 2050 Goals

NVDA has developed energy estimates for each Municipality using best available data and guidelines from the Department of Public Service. Estimates are not precise, but they can help establish a baseline for your community as you identify and assess strategies for meeting 2050 goals. Please note that this data model is more region-specific and may vary from the Community Energy Dashboard data.


Below are links to the Municipal Energy Estimates by county:


Municipal Estimates:

     Caledonia County

     Essex County

     Orleans County


If your community would like technical assistance, please contact David Snedeker at NVDA.