Vt. Senate Debates Utility Merger And Ratepayer Refunds

04/05/12 1:32PM By Ross Sneyd

AP/Toby Talbot
A joint caucus in the Senate planned Thursday to question Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth Miller about $21 million that will be due to CVPS ratepayers if a merger takes place.

Members of the Vermont Senate are meeting Thursday in an unusual "joint caucus" to talk about the controversy of the Green Mountain Power-Central Vermont Public Service merger.

The issue is about $21 million that will be due to CVPS ratepayers if the merger takes place.

The utilities want to put that money into home weatherization or energy efficiency programs.

But a growing number of politicians say shareholders should be given a refund because they helped CVPS avoid bankruptcy 12 years ago with higher rates.

Lawmakers have become more involved in that debate, so both the Democratic and Republican caucuses in the Senate plan to question Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth Miller.

The Shumlin administration sides with the utilities about how to give money back to ratepayers.

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gmp green_mountain_power gmp_cvps_merger
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