Burlington electric rates see double-digit increase

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Host) Consumers in Vermont’s largest city could soon see a double-digit increase in their electric bills.

Burlington Electric, the city-owned utility, wants to raise rates by 11.3 percent. The Public Service Board has launched an investigation — which means the utility will have to show that the increase is justified.

Barbara Grimes is the utility’s general manager. She says much of the increase is due to higher power and transmission costs.

(Grimes) "These are from contracts we bought two years ago when the price was higher. Going forward, with natural gas prices down, those forward contracts are at a lot lower price than we paid two years ago. So it is that rolling average that became higher that we are dealing with in the short run."

(Host) If the rate increase is approved, the average customer will pay about $7 a month more, with bills going from $63 to about $70.


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