Department of Public Service

State steps up FairPoint oversight as strike continues

Dennis Barr (left), Lisa LeFebvre-Barr and Matt Orr picket outside FairPoint Communications' central office in Montpelier, joined by LeFebvre-Barr's mutt Spike. The three are going without pay to protest the company's imposed compensation package. Photo by Hilary Niles/

Slow service response times are an increasing concern as a strike at FairPoint’s Northern New England operations enters its fourth week. State regulators have told FairPoint that if the situation doesn’t improve, an official investigation may be launched.

Net metering booms in Vermont

A solar panel and battery storage system at Northern Reliability’s test center in Waitsfield. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Vermont’s net-metering program has grown sixfold over the past five years, and is expected to continue to accelerate before the uncertain changes to the federal solar tax credit in 2016.

PSB won’t reopen Vermont Gas pipeline case

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

Despite a $35 million increase in estimated cost, the Public Service Board ruled Friday that Phase One of a proposed natural gas pipeline in Addison County can keep its certificate of public good.

State reaffirms support for Vermont Gas pipeline

Vermont Gas building

State officials say the pipeline does not need to be re-evaluated, in spite of a significant increase in estimated cost. Opponents of the pipeline have called for a reopening of the case by the Public Service Board.

Pipeline cost increase prompts policy concerns

Vermont Gas building

Following a 40 percent increase in the estimated cost of a natural gas pipeline, some lawmakers are questioning the project approval process, and whether customers should foot the bill for cost overruns.

Green Mountain Power cuts electric rates

Electric rates for Green Mountain Power customers dropped 2.46 percent on Oct. 1, the utility announced Monday. GMP President and CEO Mary Powell said in a statement that the company’s long-term power contracts and in-state renewable power generation allow the company to lower energy bills for customers. The company last year proposed a 0.03 percent […]

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.

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