(Host) The state’s largest electric utility says it wants to avoid rate increases for the next four years. Central Vermont Public Service spokesman Steve Costello says the company can freeze rates by cutting spending throughout its operations:
(Costello) "What we’re doing is telling our customers that Â– barring unforeseen circumstances Â– our goal is through internal measures to reduce costs and external measures, to reduce costs, is to cap our rates right where they are for at least the next four years."
(Host) CVPS wants to sell its share in the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. The company says that should reduce costs and help with the rate freeze.
But a consumer group has argued that the Yankee sale should give the company enough money to cut rates, not simply avoid rate increases. David Reville is associate state director of AARP:
(Reveille) "In our view, Vermont ratepayers have been paying rates well above the national average for a number of years now. So we feel strongly that an immediate rate reduction is called for. And we see the sale here as an opportunity to reduce rates closer to the national averages."
(Host) In addition to the rate freeze, CVPS says its four year plans will boost customer satisfaction and raise its stock price.