Power Merger Critics Push For House Debate

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This could be the climactic week in an effort by some Vermont lawmakers to get the Legislature to intervene in the proposed merger of Vermont’s two largest electric utilities.

The House may be asked to debate a measure that would have the Legislature direct the Public Service Board on how $21 million is repaid to customers of Central Vermont Public Service.

Green Mountain Power’s parent company Gaz Metro is acquiring CVPS, and wants to put $21 million into weatherization and energy efficiency, and then bill ratepayers to recoup that investment. The utilities say the move would reap benefits for customers in savings on energy efficiency.

Legislative critics say the money should be repaid in checks or deductions in monthly bills, and that it should come from shareholders, not future ratepayer bills.

Other lawmakers say they don’t want to interfere with the board.

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