Vermont Gas Rate Decrease Doesn't Factor In Pipeline Costs

Aug 31, 2015

Vermont Gas Systems has proposed a 3 percent rate decrease for customers which, if approved, will go into effect Nov. 1.

CEO Don Rendall said Monday that the decrease is the 12th the company has filed for since 2012, and it comes even as the company continues to build a major pipeline into Addison County.

The cost of the project rose dramatically last year from $87 million to $154 million. Rendall said the company is able to reduce rates despite the higher-than-expected costs because they aren’t yet factored into rates.

“The cost of the project will be included in rates at the appropriate time and in an appropriate way that is consistent with our commitment to maintain competitive and affordable prices for our customers,” he said Monday.

Rendall declined to say if gas rates will go up once the pipeline’s cost is factored in, citing other variables such as the market price of natural gas. Nor is it clear when the company plans to begin including construction costs in customer rates.

He said that timing is “still to be determined based on when we complete the project and what our rate and pricing cycle will be in the future. We’re really looking forward to completing that project on the schedule that we have which is the end of 2016, and when we are done we will take it from there.”