(Host) Green Mountain Power has responded to critics who say it isn’t providing enough benefits to Central Vermont Public Service customers in the planned merger of the two companies.
GMP says it will pay another $21 million toward customer energy efficiency.
AARP, which represents elderly Vermonters, complained the proposed merger doesn’t adequately benefit CVPS customers, whose rates rose in 2000 to pay higher energy costs.
Steve Costello is a CVPS spokesman.
(Costello) "We think this is a very strong proposal. It’s modeled after the model that the Public Service Board approved in the GMP sale a few years back, which AARP supported. So we’re hopeful that this will meet the needs of the Public Service Board and show that we clearly have listened to the interveners in the case and the Department of Public Service."
(Host) But AARP Vermont director Greg Marchildon rejects the idea. He says customers deserve cash back in their pockets, not a new energy efficiency program. He says CVPS should not determine how the money is spent.
(Marchildon) "The notion that this is their money to determine how to spend it is frankly ludicrous. This is not their money. This $21 million is the money that is owed to CVPS ratepayers. So it is does not satisfy us at all and we do not believe it will satisfy CVPS ratepayers."
(Host) State regulators approved a similar arrangement five years ago when Green Mountain Power was sold to Gaz Metro of Montreal.
The Department of Public Service – which represents ratepayers – says it’s evaluating the proposal.