JOHNSON – Yesterday, the Vermont Electric Co-op (VEC) filed a request with the Vermont Public Utility Commission for a rate increase of 3.29 percent to take effect at the beginning of next year.
If approved, a residential customer with a bill of $100/month would see an increase in their bill of $3.29 per month.
VEC says the main drivers of this proposed increase include:
This includes higher capacity costs (ensuring power supply is available when needed), and increased costs of power supply contracts. These as a group are the single most significant cost pressure.
System maintenance and major storms:
VEC is seeing increased system maintenance costs associated with keeping the grid resilient, safe, and reliable. This includes increasing our vegetation and tree trimming efforts in order to reduce outages in the coming years.
Cost of doing business:
Although VEC has not increased staffing levels in many years, the continued increase in the cost of employee health insurance is a big cost driver, in addition to other costs of running a business such as property taxes and typical cost of living pay and benefit increases.
VEC says they are also experiencing reduced revenues attributable to increased efficiency and distributed renewable generation (net-metering), in addition to a declining Renewable Energy Certificate market.
If approved, this adjustment would be the first VEC rate increase in six years.
Over the last ten years, VEC has had an average rate increase of less than one percent a year, well under the cost of inflation.