Department of Public Service

Fiber advocates trash state’s 10-year Telecom Plan

Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia (from left), telecommunications director Jim Porter and infrastructure specialist Corey Chase of the Department of Public Service listen as John Bloch gives testimony. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Critics of the proposed state telecommunications road map wrong to focus on getting all addresses up to 4 Mbps upload speed and 1 Mbps download speed by 2020. Proposal is obsolete from the start, they say.

Greg Marchildon: What about the ratepayers?

For far too long, Vermont’s utility customers have been at the mercy of a regulatory system that puts the interests of our state’s power companies ahead of ours.

State to take public comment on 10-year telecom plan

Jim Porter, telecommunications director of the Vermont Public Service Department. Photo by Hilary Niles/

Public comment on the state’s telecommunications plan will be taken Aug. 25 through Aug. 28. The Legislature has set its sights on broadband speeds of 100 Mbps by 2024, but telecom director Jim Porter says it’s too early to predict steps for reaching that goal.

AARP challenges Vermont Gas rate increase request

Sections of pipe are encased in cement at Vermont Gas' staging area in Williston. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Group representing retired people says the company intended to use money from a reserve fund to soften the impact of its natural gas pipeline extension. Vermont Gas denies the charge.

Vermont Gas offers mediation, moves toward eminent domain

Vermont Gas spokesman Steve Wark points to a map of the company's pipeline extension proposal at a media roundtable in South Burlington on Tuesday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

The natural gas utility is offering mediation to a small group of landowners who refuse to grant easements for the company’s pipeline extension. At the same time, Vermont Gas is pursuing its right to claim the land through eminent domain.

Photo gallery: Demonstrators rally against fossil fuels at Statehouse

Protest 4-1

Marchers play music, shout slogans in opposition to Vermont Gas pipeline extension and other energy policies.

Williston neighbors bothered by Vermont Gas staging site

Sections of pipe are encased in cement at Vermont Gas' staging area in Williston. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Residents of the Maple Tree Housing complex say the company never spoke to them before creating a giant construction yard next to their homes at Taft Corners.

State recommends $35,000 fine for Vermont Gas cost overrun

Vermont Gas Systems' South Burlington offices. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

The department said the company should have known about market forces that would increase the cost of the pipeline well before it notified state regulators.

State announces $770,000 for energy efficiency upgrades

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced a new loan program available to those seeking to make thermal efficiency and cleaner energy improvements to their homes at Bourne's Energy Biodiesel Blending Facility in Morrisville on Wednesday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Program helps finance energy efficiency and home heating retrofits for homeowners whose fuel dealers partner with Efficiency Vermont.

John McClaughry: A new chapter in crony capitalism

Gov. Peter Shumlin has announced the latest in a long series of sweet deals for his favored people at everybody else’s expense. The lucky winner is IBM.

Electricity supplier won’t buy Vermont renewable energy credits

Twenty-one 450-foot-tall wind turbines run along the Lowell Mountains ridgeline for 4 miles. Photo by Andrew Stein/VTDigger

“It is a fundamental principle of all renewable energy market sales that the environmental characteristics associated with the electric energy generated cannot be counted or claimed twice,” said NextEra Energy in a letter last week.

State wants Entergy to continue emergency planning after shutdown

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.

Chris Recchia, commissioner of the Department of Public Service, tells U.S. senators emergency protection zone should continue until of all of the plant’s spent fuel rods are placed in dry cask storage.

House OKs Efficiency Vermont plan to promote heat pumps

Bryn Pinzgauer/Creative Commons

Bill would allow the utility to offer subsidies for efficient heat pumps, which can help lower the cost of home-heating.

GMP to receive $17.8 million from Entergy

Power lines cut across a Vermont hillside. VTD/Josh Larkin

Money comes from a revenue-sharing agreement with Vermont Yankee owners and will be passed on to ratepayers.

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