by Don Rendall, GMP Green Mountain Power is lowering electric rates for customers. This good news is rare for most electric customers across the region and around the country, as rates are going up, sometimes by double digits. These rate increases - from Colorado to Pennsylvania - come at a time when our country is faced with critical choices about our energy future. Reliable electric service is more important than ever. At the same time, developing cleaner sources of electric power is an environmental imperative.
Conventional wisdom suggests that as we move away from fossil-based power and as the cost of business continues to rise, prices will inevitably go up. However, Vermont has repeatedly proved conventional wisdom wrong. Under an agreement that GMP worked out with state regulators and other key stakeholders, including IBM, Associated Industries of Vermont and AARP, customers and businesses will see a 2.46 percent rate decrease starting this October. This decrease, the largest in recent memory, is great news for Vermont’s families and businesses. I can think of no better example of what we can achieve when we work together toward a shared goal of lowering electricity costs for Vermonters.
At the same time we are lowering our prices, GMP is also investing in clean, cost-effective energy sources. We are working with community partners to build solar farms across the state, including in Rutland. We’ve made a big investment in our Kingdom Community Wind project in Lowell. Our Cow Power program turns waste into energy by converting cow manure into methane - offering farmers a premium for their waste and customers cost-effective renewable energy. These investments are good for Vermonters, good for our economy and good for our planet.
The work that we do on behalf of Vermonters every day powers our homes and businesses, empowers people and drives our economy. Whether you’re a family of four in St. Johnsbury, a local bookstore owner in Wilmington, or an entrepreneur in Hinesburg, reliable, clean, cost-effective power is important every day. As we talk to our customers all around the state, we hear consistently that in addition to building clean power sources, they want and they will depend on new energy technologies to help conserve energy in their homes and businesses. At the same time this strategy allows GMP to continue to offer the lowest-cost power we can.
Our first-in-the-nation eHome program helps families weatherize their homes with the latest in renewable technology – heat pumps, smart plugs and phone apps to control and track usage in real time from wherever our customers are. Our first eHome, located on Baxter Street in Rutland, is called the Energy Home of the Future. This home serves as a model for energy efficiency, weatherization, and the real-life use of innovative alternative energy technology.
Our program is going to save Vermonters money, make them more comfortable in their homes - in the winter and the summer - and reduce their consumption of expensive fossil fuels. Partnering with customers, GMP is leading the way in Vermont, and we're keeping costs low along the way.
Vermont’s future is bright. Lowering electric rates is a big step in the right direction. Green Mountain Power is proud to demonstrate to Vermonters - and the rest of the country - that we can innovate, develop clean energy sources, help build our economy and reduce costs for our customers. We will continue to work hard every day to power our state and empower our customers.
Don Rendall is Senior Vice President at Green Mountain Power.