Green Mountain Power

GMP

Green Mountain Power officials say its now official: Rutland is the solar generation capital of New England.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

All this week, jackhammers have been destroying a small dam on the Wells River in Groton. The dam was built in 1908 to power Groton homes but it’s been useless since it was damaged by the 1927 flood.

mgkaya / iStock.com

Some good news Friday for customers of Green Mountain Power, the state's largest electric utility. The company has agreed to lower rates starting in October by .76 percent.

Toby Talcott / AP

The Federal Trade Commission has decided not to open up an investigation into allegations of deceptive advertising at Vermont’s largest electric utility. But the FTC is asking Green Mountain Power to be more careful about its communications with customers in the future.

Toby Talbot / AP

Green Mountain Power in recent years has installed wind turbines atop Vermont’s ridgelines and solar arrays in its fields. All fueling the delivery of clean, green, renewable power to conscientious Vermonters’ homes, right?

Turns out, that’s a matter of debate.

“If you were to ask Vermonters, ‘do they think that by buying GMP power from wind projects, they’re reducing their carbon footprint’ I’d venture to say a strong a majority of Vermonters would say, ‘of course that’s what we’re doing’,” says Vermont Law School professor Pat Parenteau. “The truth is, they’re not.”

Nina Keck

Vermont has some of the oldest housing stock in the nation and some of the highest home heating bills. But encouraging low and middle-income homeowners to make costly efficiency retrofits has been a challenge.

Mark and Sara Borkowski love their century old two story blue house in downtown Rutland. But they admit it’s had some drawbacks. “My daughter’s room has always been really cold in the winter, super hot in the summer,” says Sara. “In certain areas you could feel the cold air coming in.”    

A cold winter and a revenue-sharing agreement with the owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant will mean a big windfall for many Vermont electric customers.

When the Entergy Corporation bought the plant in 2002 from Vermont utilities, the company agreed to share revenues from its sales above a certain wholesale electric price.

That price was exceeded this winter as wholesale power costs skyrocketed in New England. And that means Entergy will pay Green Mountain Power as much as $17.8 million.

The state's largest utility is adding a new charge to customers’ bills in 2014 to cover the costs the company incurred responding to major storms this year, Green Mountain Power announced.

The surcharge will add an additional 1.5 percent to GMP bills next year, said spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure. For the average customer, she said, that adds up to about $1.50 per month.

“Last year we had several major storms,” Schnure said. “We had Superstorm Sandy and three other major storms.”

Vermont's largest electric utility says its customers won't see any increase in their base rate for power for at least two years.

In a filing on Friday with state regulators, Green Mountain Power said efficiencies from its merger with Central Vermont Public Service and a continued focus on cost controls means the company can keep base rate flats for the foreseeable future.

Nina Keck

Green Mountain Power’s new $2.75 million Energy Innovation Center opens today in Rutland.  The facility was created out of what had been two blighted downtown properties and fulfills one of the key promises GMP made to Rutland when it purchased CVPS almost 18 months ago.

Vermont's largest electric utility is kicking off what is believed to be the first utility-sponsored heat pump rental program in the country.

The pilot program that began in Rutland on Wednesday is designed to save customers money and demonstrate the systems can work in a cold-weather climate.

VPR / Charlotte Albright

A massive effort to restore power after yesterday’s damaging storms has continued throughout the day and is expected to last through Monday night and into Tuesday.

More than 500 Green Mountain Power employees and contractors are working to restore service as quickly as possible – repairing lines, removing trees and answering phones.

Green Mountain Power still has over 2,000 customers without power in towns such as St. Johnsbury, Danville and Marshfield. At one point over 20,000 customers were in the dark.

Nina Keck / VPR

Green Mountain Power says there are a lot of Vermonters who’d like to use solar power. But many are unable or unwilling to install the necessary equipment on their homes.  

GMP officials say now, thanks to a new partnership with the nation’s largest solar developer, they’ll be able to offer a new way for customers to take advantage of solar power without installing the hardware. 

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