On April 13, Green Mountain Power filed a traditional rate case with the Public Utility Commission for rates set to take effect January 2019. The filing calls for a base rate increase of 5.45 percent and a bill credit that equals about 6 percent, more than offsetting the increase. The result for customers is a net decrease of 0.5 percent through September 2019, due to returning benefits from the federal tax change.
The base rate pressure the company is experiencing is due largely to costs outside the company’s control. This traditional cost of service filing kicks off an intensive rate review process that is expected to take more than seven months and will include public hearings, public comment, written testimony, and formal hearings.
“We refuse to accept that higher energy costs are inevitable but understand the trends we are seeing regionally and nationally are significant,” said Mary Powell, president and CEO of Green Mountain Power. “Innovation and forward thinking allow us to make investments in creative solutions for our customers to drive down costs. This work is paying off and we are very optimistic about the future.”
While customers will see a net 0.5 percent decrease through September 2019, the base rate request is necessary to manage increased costs almost entirely outside of the company’s control like net metering, retail sales declines, and transmission requirements.
Powell added, “Our team worked tirelessly to find efficiencies and return money to customers as quickly as possible to minimize the impacts of upward cost pressures, so I’m very pleased that our customers will see a 0.5 percent decrease under our filing.”
GMP continues to work to offset cost pressures with other savings, including exceeding its commitment to deliver savings through the merger and through ongoing operational efficiencies. GMP is also leveraging innovations like battery storage to cut the high cost of peak energy demand charges when customers are using the grid the most, and those projects are helping to drive down costs in this filing as well.
“We continue to be very appreciative of the work GMP is doing to keep costs low,” said Matt Lillard, general manager of Mad River Glen Cooperative. “We’re America’s only skier-owned mountain and knowing our GMP bill is as low as it can be helps us continue to remain independent and preserve Mad River Glen’s authentic skiing experience.”
The filing is subject to PUC approval. A decision will come after lengthy and thorough review later this year.