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Last month, we said that the state of Vermont had introduced a feed-in tariff (FIT) policy that will encourage home and business owners to set up small renewable energy systems. FIT policies allow small renewable energy producers to sell excess energy from their home or business to utility companies at guaranteed rates, shortening the return on investment. Now, The New York Times reports that FIT policies are spreading to other areas of the country.
Last week, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) approved a policy that will allow owners of solar, biogas and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generator systems to sell the energy they produce back to SMUD. The SMUD provides service to 1.4 million people. The Times article says that rates will “depend on the time of day the power is generated, ranging from a low of 5 or 6 cents a kilowatt-hour to 30 cents on a hot summer afternoon.” According to an SMUD report, the policy will cover systems up to 5 megawatts, with an entire program cap of 100 megawatts.
The Times article also states that Hawaii is now considering a similar policy.
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