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Vermont House Passes Bill That Includes AMI Funding For Public Power

April 7, 2022

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
April 7, 2022

The Vermont House has passed comprehensive transportation and appropriations bills that include significant investments in the state’s efforts to electrify the economy, including funding for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) in public power communities.

The Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA) has been representing its 11 community-owned electric utility members as a leading advocate for this funding.

The bill, which now heads to the Vermont Senate, includes $5 million for a 50% reimbursement to municipal and cooperative electrical distribution utilities for the implementation of AMI systems approved by the Public Utility Commission.

As Vermont advances towards meeting its climate action and energy requirements, it will be crucial for utilities to modernize their infrastructure to meet increasingly dynamic customer and load demands, VPPSA noted. “This state investment will ensure equitable access to this technology for all Vermonters and acts as a seed investment to open further federal funding opportunities.”

An $11 million funding request for AMI was supported by all 17 Vermont electric utilities as part of a comprehensive package of investments aimed at modernizing Vermont’s electric grid.

While nearly 90% Vermont electric consumers already have access to AMI due to a federal grant received by the state’s larger utilities in 2009, the remaining 10%, mainly in rural parts of the state, were not able to take advantage of that funding.

Deploying state funds now helps to close the existing technology gap and positions all Vermonters to access forthcoming federal Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) funding, VPPSA said.

As the bill undergoes review by the Senate, VPPSA said it will continue to advocate for full funding of the utility request to obtain equitable treatment across the state.