SolarCity Under Investigation By Vt. Public Service Commission

MONTPELIER, Vt. - A solar company is under investigation by the Vermont Public Utility Commission for allegedly not obtaining permits to operate in the state.

A petition from the Vermont Public Service Department alleges SolarCity built and operated net metering systems without approval from the Public Utility Commission.

The department’s Director for Public Advocacy Jim Porter tells Local 22 & Local 44 News customers came to the department with questions about their SolarCity contracts a few months ago.

“When that happened, that was when the utility commission and the department realized that SolarCity was doing business in Vermont because they had not gotten permits to operate in Vermont,” he said. “So literally the first we knew that they were operating was when we started getting inquiries from their customers

Porter thinks SolarCity may have been offering services since last year and has at least 124 customers or projects in operation.

Porter petitioned the Public Utility Commission to investigate.

The commission opened an investigation on Thursday, according to documents filed.

“The issue here is we are happy to have companies operating in Vermont we just want them to follow the law when they're here and that's what this investigation is about,” said Porter.

Porter says proper permitting and registration is important in order for the state to keep track of net metering.

A SolarCity spokesperson responded to Local 22 & Local 44 News’ line of questioning with this statement:

“We will be responding to the Public Utility Commission. Previously, we had electronically submitted our applications via email and now understand hard copies are also required. We have been in contact with customers about this, and we look forward to continuing delivery of sustainable energy products to Vermont residents."

A prehearing conference has been scheduled for September 28th at 11am in the Susan M. Hudson Hearing Room at 112 State Street in Montpelier.

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