SOURCE: Green Mountain Power

Green Mountain Power

August 03, 2011 16:32 ET

Green Mountain Power Files for Rate Adjustment of 3.2 Percent

COLCHESTER, VT--(Marketwire - Aug 3, 2011) - Green Mountain Power today asked the Vermont Public Service Board to authorize a 3.2 percent rate adjustment to go into effect on October 1, 2011, as part of its alternative regulation plan.

"Green Mountain Power customers enjoy some of the lowest rates in New England and Vermont, and keeping rates low drives every decision at Green Mountain Power," said Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power president and chief executive officer. "Our energy strategy is focused on low cost, low carbon, incredibly reliable power resources and our operating strategy for over a decade has been based on being the highest quality, lowest cost service provider in the region. We have been very successful controlling expenses and this increase is driven by very important and necessary investments in infrastructure and modest increases in power supply costs."

More than half of the proposed increase is due to infrastructure investments and increasing power supply costs, and the rest is due to increases in taxes. GMP operations and maintenance costs have remained about flat for three years while managing an increasing customer base and significant capital projects.

Looking to the future, Green Mountain Power has successfully arranged major power sources that will help stabilize rates, including its recently filed NextEra power purchase at a starting prices of about 4.6 cents per kwh, its 63 megawatt wind facility in Lowell that is expected to begin construction in August, and a 26-year contract with Hydro Quebec that has been approved by the Vermont Public Service Board. All of these sources offer low emission, reliable power at prices that are very attractive relative to alternative sources with similar characteristics.

Green Mountain Power already operates very efficiently, with the most customers served per employee of any utility in the state, and meets or exceeds very high customer service standards, such as how quickly customers' calls are answered and the reliability of the electric service. Its focus on lowering costs for customers while offering excellent customer service was instrumental in GMP's decision to acquire CVPS in order to achieve significant savings for customers of both utilities.

Green Mountain Power's overall average rates are the lowest of the large utilities in New England and Vermont's five largest utilities, based on the most recent state and national data available. The rate advantage is due in large part to the Company's focus on efficient operations and long term power supply contracts.

Since January 2007, Green Mountain Power has operated under an alternative regulation plan, which streamlines regulation while retaining appropriate regulatory review. This plan has been effective in significantly reducing regulatory costs while offering positive risk assurances to credit rating agencies. An updated alternative regulation plan has been approved by the Vermont Public Service Board and will be in effect until September 30, 2013.

If the full rate request is approved, the monthly bill for an average residential customer using 600 kilowatt-hours would increase by $3.09 from $96.53 to $99.62

About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in Vermont and is a leader in wind and solar generation. It serves more than 96,000 customers.