Customers of the state's largest utility will pay 5 percent more in rates under a settlement reached between Green Mountain Power and the state department that represents ratepayers.
The agreement still must be reviewed by the Public Utility Commission, which regulates utilities in Vermont. If approved, the increase would go into effect on Jan. 1.
Kristin Carlson, spokeswoman for Green Mountain Power, says the negotiated settlement came after eight months of a fully litigated rate case.
“And I think what this reflects is that these are the true costs of doing business. The department hired five independent experts that reviewed every aspect of our cost of service," she said.
Carlson says higher transmission costs account for the bulk of the increase, with some cost pressure coming also from net metered renewable projects in the utilities’ service territory.
James Porter, director of public advocacy at the Vermont Department of Public Service, says the department is concerned about the impact of the rate increase, but ultimately believes the settlement is fair.
"The department has recommended that the commission approve a settlement that would remove $20 million from Green Mountain Power's rate base and would secure other important concessions that we believe will serve the interest of the ratepayers going forward," Porter said.
The Public Utility Commission is expected to rule on the agreement by mid-December.