Green Mountain Power announces slight rate decrease as a result of merger with CVPS

GMP CEO Mary Powell

Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power, testifies at a technical hearing on the merger of GMP and Central Vermont Public Service. VTD file photo/Alan Panebaker

Green Mountain Power, a subsidiary of Montreal-based Gaz Metro, will reduce electricity rates by 0.4 percent starting Oct. 1 as a result of the company’s recent merger with Central Vermont Public Service.

It’s the first time Green Mountain power has reduced rates since 1988.

This is a real boon for consumers and companies, company officials say, as the average annual increase in power rates is 3 percent to 4 percent. Rate increases have fluctuated from less than 1 percent to about 9 percent in recent years.

The 0.4 percent reduction is the equivalent of a 40 cent drop on a $100 monthly power bill, according to Dotty Schnure, spokeswoman for the company.

The savings for customers statewide is $2.5 million. More than 70 percent of Vermont ratepayers, or 250,000 customers, now get their electricity from Green Mountain Power, as a result of the merger in June with CVPS, the state’s largest utility.

Green Mountain Power officials say the merger made the anticipated 0.4 savings possible.

In a statement, Mary Powell, CEO of GMP, said: “Green Mountain Power is fully committed to a cost-effective future for the Vermonters we serve while also working to significantly improve services and reduce the frequency and duration of outages.”

Powell said customers are already “beginning to experience benefits of the recent merger through our ability to keep customer costs lower and through our improved response time to the weather events that hit hard many Vermont homes and businesses in July.”

Shortly after the announcement, press statements lauding the rate reduction were issued by Gov. Peter Shumlin, Department of Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth Miller, Frank Chioffi, head of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corp., Win Smith, CEO of Sugarbush Resort, GE Aviation in Rutland HR leader Justin Warsinskey and John Castaldo, president of the Central Vermont Council on Aging.

Miller said the rate filing “reflects the first year of guaranteed savings to customers required by the merger order.”

“It also sets a base from which future merger savings will be measured over the next decade, and shows us that the company is willing to work hard to hold the line on costs in order to deliver the benefits promised to customers in the merger,” Miller said.

Shumlin said the rate reduction is “a promising start for the new company as it works over the coming years to deliver on its merger promises.”

“This rate decrease is a good example of why I supported the GMP/CVPS merger, as Vermonters are already seeing the benefits of the merger through these real cost savings,” Shumlin said. “I have said for months that this merger will save money for Vermont families and help our businesses create jobs, and this great news is further evidence of that fact.”

Not everyone was as sanguine about what the deal means for ratepayers.

Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington, sought to pass legislation that would have required Gaz Metro to return $21 million to ratepayers that was borrowed by the company to pay off debts related to high priced power from Hydro Quebec. Had a rebate gone through, the rebate would have been $150 per customer on average, or $70 per residential ratepayer, she says.

The $2.5 million rate reduction, she says, pales in comparison with the $21 million that should have been refunded to consumers and businesses. Instead, Gaz Metro will offer $21 million in efficiency and weatherization savings to the state, which will be recouped in rates. Browning also says Gaz Metro, which hopes to save $226 million, thanks to efficiencies in operations and new technology, will use $80 million of that savings to pay for the merger.

“I’m happy they did it and I hope the later merger savings really materialize,” Browning said. “The rate reduction is a small amount compared with what they’ve already taken from ratepayers, which is by my estimation $120 million. The fact is the annual rate decrease might give back a benefit $2 million. Trying to take political credit for that is contemptible.”

Anne Galloway

Leave a Reply

13 Comments on "Green Mountain Power announces slight rate decrease as a result of merger with CVPS"


Comment Policy requires that all commenters identify themselves by their authentic first and last names. Initials, pseudonyms or screen names are not permissible.

No personal harassment, abuse, or hate speech is permitted. Be succinct and to the point. If your comment is over 500 words, consider sending a commentary instead.

We personally review and moderate every comment that is posted here. This takes a lot of time; please consider donating to keep the conversation productive and informative.

The purpose of this policy is to encourage a civil discourse among readers who are willing to stand behind their identities and their comments. VTDigger has created a safe zone for readers who wish to engage in a thoughtful discussion on a range of subjects. We hope you join the conversation.

Privacy policy
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Hod Palmer,
4 years 2 months ago

A $0.40 savings a month X 12 = $4.80 annual electrical savings. Hooray, what a great deal for the rate payers! They should be ashamed to even announce this, to say nothing of trying to tell us they really care…Hogwash!

Randy Koch
4 years 2 months ago
Duck! Incoming horse pucky! The way the whole GazMet/GMP mob is spinning it, the great GazMet/GMP cash cow is generously doling out to grateful ratepayers a $2.5 million as an early Christmas present. It’s “the deal of a lifetime”. What’s wrong with this picture is that ordinarily a regulated utility is only allowed to recover its actual costs. That’s the bargain. The state gives the utility an exclusive territory to operate in as a monopoly, without any competition. But in return, the state regulates prices to prevent monopoly from charging ripoff rates. Ordinarily the utility gets rates set to cover… Read more »
4 years 2 months ago

GMP would not be able to practice its method of “sharing” without the nod from Shumlin and his PSB.

One of the most glaring examples of this “sharing” is the grab, with Shumlin’s approval, by GMP of the $21 million that belonged to CVPS rate payers and that CVPS should have paid to rate payers, but instead included in its balance sheet to make CVPS appear more asset-rich and therefore get a better price which benefitted the top CVPS managers who walked off with bonuses of up to $8 million.

Vermont politics at its worst?

Cynthia Browning
4 years 2 months ago
Just to review the merger math, GMP is keeping about $80 million in merger savings that should have gone to the ratepayers in lower rates. They have kept the $21 million CVPS ratepayer bailout that should have been returned immediately, and they will recoup another $21 million in higher rates based on how they “invest” our money. So by my calculations, GMP has taken $122 m that should have gone to ratepayers. This current rate decrease is certainly better for ratepayers than an increase, but it is much smaller than it should have been. The decrease should have been at… Read more »
David Dempsey
4 years 2 months ago
Mary Powells statement failed to mention that, despite promises of enormous customer savings, the first bill from the new company included a 12 month 2.2% increase in rates due to tropical storm Irene. But they did give customers a break. They are only going to charge 1.4% for the first three months. This reduces the increase in rates to “only” 2% for the Irene rate increase. For a $100 a month bill, this amounts to a $24 a year increase. Subtract the $4.80 for the rate decrease and you have a $19.20 increase which works out to a 1.6% rate… Read more »
Mike Gardner
4 years 2 months ago

How is it possible that people from both sides of the aisle agree that the GMP/CVPS merger is corrupt and pure and utter BS, yet the politicians continue to ignore us all.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven…is anyone in Montpeculier listening???

Randy Koch
4 years 2 months ago
Montpelier doesn’t have to listen to anybody but GazMet, the uber-utility. What good would it do you to buck GazMet? You would be throwing away all the rewards that come of getting into the big GazMet bed: future employment, advancement in your legislative or administrative career, invitations to schmooze with political heavyweights, etc. Plus the spin on this story has been so intense that hardly anyone in the press even understands the issue so in addition to shooting yourself in the foot, you’ll just be making a fool of yourself in public. So don’t expect anything from Montpelier (except for… Read more »
4 years 2 months ago

Cynthia has my vote if she runs for Governor.

Vermont did very well under Governor Kunin, a caring, fair-minded person.

paul kidder
4 years 2 months ago

We just got out first GMP bill. Our consumption was 100 kWh less than last year but our bill is $ 20 more. What in the world is going on here. Can anyone explain?

4 years 2 months ago


High cost renewable energy (the much bragged-about PV Solar and soon the wind energy from Lowell Mountain) is being rolled mostly into the household rate schedules.

More is coming. Your vote to oust these people counts in November.

Ron Pulcer
4 years 2 months ago
Kudos for Rep. Browning for continuing to stay on this issue of GMP / CVPS merger. Prior to the Public Service Board blessing of the Gaz Metro / GMP / CVPS merger, I contacted the PSB to submit a comment and question. I was referred to the Dept. of Public Service Board, which I called. The PSB rep told me that they could not take comments or speak about an “open case”, so I should contact the Dept of Public Service instead. My comment was basically this, given the rate increase bailout (valued / capped at $21 Million): I worked… Read more »
4 years 2 months ago
The reality, so hastily whitewashed by this announcement of a “rate decrease” is that the price of energy is only going one way. Up. It’s fine to dream of renewables “dotting” Vermont’s landscape, powering a renaissance of tech and industry which will provide the state with a strong economy for decades to come. There are still many viable solutions to the state’s and world’s resource limitations, but they are much less glamorous than what investors or consumers want to see. Wind farms, compact fluorescents, smart meters, and nuclear power all represent significant “acheivements” in engineering. With that said, innovation without… Read more »
4 years 1 month ago

I’am very unhappy, my usage hasn’t changed much, but my bill has nearly trippled since GMP took over! I no longer want this special” smart meter” on my home any more! Please REMOVE Them ASAP!!! Its bad enough we have to try to recover after the Irene Flood, high fuel & gas prices and increasingly higher grocery cost, now we have to get it from the power company too! Where is it gonna end???
Thank You for Your attention to this,
Jenny M. Savage

Thanks for reporting an error with the story, "Green Mountain Power announces slight rate decrease as a result of me..."