CVPS, DPS agree on 2.3 percent rate increase

first_imgCVPS, DPS agree on 2.3 percent rate increaseRUTLAND, Vt. (November 29, 2007) – Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE-CV) and the VermontDepartment of Public Service today agreed to a 2.3 percent rate increase to takeeffect with bills rendered in February. CVPS filed for a 4.46 percent rateincrease in May. The settlement must be approved by the Vermont Public ServiceBoard.”This settlement will provide CVPS with modest but adequate funds to improvecustomer service and reliability, while maintaining extremely competitive ratescompared to the rest of New England,” President Bob Young said. “Working withthe DPS, we were able to reduce our initial request while committing to makingsubstantial additional investments in tree trimming and system upgrades, whichwill benefit our customers.”Under the settlement, a residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours per monthwould see an increase of $1.65, from $71.46 to $73.11 – still among the lowestin the Northeast.According to the Edison Electric Institute, many customers would pay far moreelsewhere in New England. Customers of Boston Edison and Connecticut Light andPower would pay over $100 for 500 kWh. An Nstar-Cambridge Electric customerwould pay more than $104, according to EEI.Young said internal cost controls and CVPS’s long-term power contracts withHydro-Quebec and Vermont Yankee have largely protected customers fromsignificant rate pressures facing many other utilities. While the number ofcustomers served by CVPS has increased from 143,500 in 1993 to 158,000 today,the number of employees has fallen from 750 employees in 1993 to 550 today.CVPS rates have increased only slightly in the past eight years, comprised ofjust a handful of small increases and decreases. The proposed rates would bejust 5.9 percent higher than rates in 1999. The Consumer Price Index has risen21 percent, while the CPI for energy has risen almost 85 percent between 1999and 2006.The rate settlement is intended to dovetail with a pending alternativeregulation plan filed by CVPS in August. The plan, which must be approved bythe PSB, includes mechanisms and incentives to encourage further cost controlsand efficiencies. In consultation with the DPS, CVPS plans to hire an outsideconsultant to conduct a business process review to determine where moreefficiencies might lie.”We want to keep rates as low as possible for our customers while providing themwith the kind of service, reliability and storm response they have come toexpect,” Young said. “This review and alternative regulation plan will help usdo that.”- 30 –last_img

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