SOURCE: Green Mountain Power

Green Mountain Power

August 01, 2012 13:42 ET

GMP Seeks Rate Decrease as Result of Merger

First Filed Rate Decrease in Decades

COLCHESTER, VT--(Marketwire - Aug 1, 2012) - Green Mountain Power today asked the Vermont Public Service Board to lower customer rates (by 0.4 percent) beginning October 1, the first such reduction in decades. Green Mountain Power last filed for a rate decrease in 1988.

The new rate plan filed today reflects GMP's commitment to save customers money as a result of the recent utility merger. GMP's guaranteed merger savings of $2.5 million in the first year of the newly merged company made the rate decrease possible. In addition, the company worked hard to find other efficiencies and savings to help keep rates lower. 

"Green Mountain Power is fully committed to a cost-effective future for the Vermonters we serve while also working to significantly improve services and reduce the frequency and duration of outages," said Mary Powell, president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power. "Our 250,000 customers are already beginning to experience benefits of the recent merger through our ability to keep customer costs lower and through our improved response time to the weather events that hit hard many Vermont homes and businesses in July."

Customers and organizations across the state expressed their appreciation of the decrease. Win Smith, president of Sugarbush Resort, said, "After payroll, our second-largest expense is electricity, and a rate decrease is very welcome news for us, especially after the impact of Irene and the challenging winter. Having competitive electric rates is a key to our and the state's economic sustainability and prosperity."

John Castaldo, president of the Central Vermont Council on Aging, said, "A decrease in electric rates benefits all consumers, especially senior citizens living on fixed incomes."

GE Aviation in Rutland HR Leader Justin Warsinskey said, "As one of the area's largest plants and top electricity consumers, a rate reduction will help us reduce the overall cost of operating our facility."

In addition to the guaranteed merger benefits, lower power supply costs and expected smart grid savings helped to reduce customer rates. These reductions helped to offset other cost increases, including increasing property taxes and the company's share of transmission costs necessary to ensure reliability in New England.

Green Mountain Power's energy strategy is focused on a clean, green, cost effective future for Vermonters, with long-term contracts that help keep rates stable and are not as exposed to volatile fuel prices like many other utilities in New England. 

"Green Mountain Power is driven to operate efficiently to reduce costs for our customers," Powell said. "We have been successful in keeping our operations and maintenance costs flat for several years, and we expect the newly merged Green Mountain Power will find many more ways to keep costs low to reduce pressure on future rates."

The requested decrease, if approved by the Public Service Board, will apply to residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Future rate changes will benefit from the guaranteed $144 million in savings Green Mountain Power promised in the merger. Merger negotiations with the Vermont Department of Public Service and approved by the Vermont Public Service Board on June 15 ensured upfront savings of at least $15.5 million in the first three years following the merger.

About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in Vermont and is a leader in wind and solar generation. The Company, which serves more than 250,000 customers, has set its vision to be the best small utility in America. For further information, visit www.greenmountainpower.com.