Utility Merger Proposal Goes To PSB

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A proposed merger between Vermont’s largest utilities is now in the hands of the Public Service Board. The board received final briefs in the case on Monday.

Green Mountain Power says in its legal filings that its merger with Central Vermont Public Service Corporation will save customers $144 million over 10 years.

But before the board rules, the Legislature will also debate whether lawmakers should intervene.

The House may take up a bill aimed at forcing the merged utility to repay $21 million directly to CVPS customers.

Green Mountain Power, whose parent company Gaz Metro is acquiring CVPS, has proposed putting the money into weatherization and energy efficiency, and then billing ratepayers to recoup that investment.

Legislative critics say the money should be repaid in checks or deductions in monthly bills, and that it should come from shareholders, not future ratepayer bills.

The Vermont chapter of AARP has urged the board to reject the merger as proposed, saying that it wants the $21 million sent back to ratepayers.


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