Vermont utility launches solar pilot program for low- and moderate-income customers


Green Mountain Power (GMP), Vermont’s largest utility, covering about about 75% of the state’s landmass and most of its population, has launched a solar pilot program under which up to 500 eligible customers will be given the opportunity to sign up for a portion of an already-operating GMP solar project, with time-of-use (TOU) rates encouraging energy use when the sun is shining.

The pilot functions similar to a community solar program, with customers subscribing to a portion of a project in return for lower-cost electricity and access to renewable energy. According to GMP, the pilot is free to join, assuming customers meet the eligibility requirements, and will see the average customer saving roughly $150 annually.

According to research done by Energy Outreach Colorado, energy burden, the concept that LMI households spend a disproportionate amount of their income on energy bills, when compared to higher-income households, is significant, with such households experiencing an average financial burden brought on by their electricity bills three times worse than non-LMI customers. Households that meet or are below the 80% area median income threshold can see energy bills take up to 20% of their monthly income.

The pilot program will run using LO3 Energy’s Pando software, designed specifically for this type of program, offering compensation models to optimize renewable energy assets and ways to engage customers.  GMP customers who enroll in the program will be given access to a mobile app that will give a forecast of solar energy one to three days ahead to highlight opportunities to save more by using more energy when the sun is shining.

“Pando will help GMP’s customers subscribe to solar and optimize their savings by aligning their energy use with the sunniest periods,” said Bill Collins, CEO of LO3 Energy. “Pando’s platform means customers can easily participate in renewable energy without upfront costs or long-term commitments and can get information they need to shift their usage to solar hours and save more when it makes sense for them.”

LO3 Energy also provided the software platform for GMP’s peer to peer energy trading platform which allows businesses to purchase solar power from customers who own the rights to the renewable energy credits via a phone app.

Vermonters interested in signing up for the program or learning more can contact GMP at or sign up here. Customers must meet the eligibility requirements for seasonal fuel assistance and have a gross household income at or below 185% of the federal poverty level.

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