National data shows VGS residential rates lowest in New England
Vermont Business Magazine VGS (Vermont Gas Systems) today filed a rate request for November 2020. The proposal, which needs approval from the Public Utility Commission (PUC), calls for an overall rate increase of 2.9 percent beginning in November 2020 and complements the company’s three-year regulation plan which is also under review. This adjustment would mean the average residential customer would pay just under $3 more per month.
According to the most recent U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) annual data, VGS’s annual residential rates came in lowest in New England, and today are approximately 6 percent lower than the New England average.
VGS said in a statement that the rate request supports its strong commitments to low and stable costs, keeping customers comfortable and combatting climate change.
The company announced in November 2019 its plan to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with a near-term goal of a 30% reduction in customers’ homes and businesses by 2030.
“Affordability is a foundational value at VGS,” said Don Rendall, President and CEO of VGS. “We are proud that our customers are paying, on average, $235 less to heat their homes than they were 10 years ago. We know that families and businesses rely on us to provide safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy. Today’s filing continues our customers on a path of low and stable rates while we advance our transition to cleaner energy.”
This request is driven by VGS’s core values: safety, climate, customers and culture. The Company will continue to invest in the safety and reliability of its infrastructure and support the State of Vermont’s aggressive carbon reduction goals. VGS is a leader when it comes to proactively maintaining the safety of our systems and this proposal will support upgrading our infrastructure and making necessary investments in technology, transportation equipment and physical plant improvements.
VGS’s Climate Plan strategies include doubling energy efficiency savings with significant new investments to help customers save money by reducing energy consumption; (2) introducing renewable natural gas (RNG) into the Company’s base supply for all customers including locally sourced RNG based in Addison County; and (3) strengthening partnerships to help deliver pro-climate initiatives such as VGS’s longstanding partnership with Burlington Electric Department and VGS’s recently announced partnership with Vermont Energy CoOp.
“Climate change demands action, which is why we are building on our award winning efficiency program and our groundbreaking RNG program to set an ambitious, comprehensive and attainable strategy to reduce our customers’ greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 – with the ultimate goal of eliminating them completely by 2050,” Rendall stated.
“After a long day at work, it is wonderful to come home to a warm and toasty home. My husband and I feel blessed that, thanks to VGS, we never have to worry about our heat, even on the coldest of nights,” said Rob Parzych, of Winooski. “We are grateful to VGS for keeping our bills low and finding ways we can be more sustainable.”
The 2.9% rate adjustment proposal is comprised of a 3.0% increase in the non-gas/operating expense portion of VGS’s rates, a 2.7% increase in the natural gas charge and our request to return $5.6 million of the System Expansion and Reliability Fund (SERF) back to customers.
Today’s filing initiates a regulatory process that will take approximately eight months to complete and include review and input from the Department of Public Service, public comment, testimony from the company and energy experts and public hearings before the PUC ultimately rules on the matter. To view today’s filing visit vgsvt.com.
VGS is a leader in energy efficiency and innovation, offering a clean, safe, affordable choice for over 52,000 homes, businesses, and institutions in Franklin, Chittenden and Addison counties. The company plays an important role in Vermont’s clean energy future by displacing higher-emitting fuels, offering renewable natural gas service, and delivering award-winning energy efficiency programs. VGS is leading the country in the development of local renewable energy generation and has targeted a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and full elimination by 2050. For more information about Vermont Gas visit www.vgsvt.com
Source: South Burlington, Vt. – VGS 2.14.2020