CVPS must repay ratepayers $21 million

State Rep. Leigh Dakin

By Leigh Dakin

The repayment of the $21 million loan to CVPS from ratepayers has emerged as a hot issue in the closing days of this legislative session.  Early on, I joined as a co-sponsor of the House bill to require this repayment.

For me, this is a simple question of fairness and fulfilling a promise.  Eleven years ago when CVPS was in financial trouble, the Public Service Board approved a rate increase with a provision that $21 million would be repaid to CVPS ratepayers if the company was sold.  With the pending sale of CVPS to Green Mountain Power, the time has come to fulfill this commitment.

Instead of direct repayment, the Public Service Board and Green Mountain Power are instead contemplating alternative “net benefits,” which is a vague collection of items, including reduced supply risks and environmental/economic development benefits.  While I certainly support these goals, the House has already passed legislation to require all Vermont utilities to address these goals.

In opposing this bill, the legislative leadership sites the perils of the Vermont Legislature interfering with the independence of the quasi-judicial Public Service Board.  As this is exactly what the Legislature did three years ago regarding the relicensing of Vermont Yankee, I do not find this argument compelling.

I have received more comments expressing support for the repayment of the $21 million to CVPS ratepayers than any other issue before the Legislature this session.  In Vermont, we have a long tradition of honoring our commitments and not using wordsmithing as a way to renege on a promise.

Please share your questions or concerns with me by email at or phone me at my home in Chester on weekends (875-3456).

Leigh Dakin represents Andover, Baltimore, Chester and North Springfield in the State House.

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  1. Ron Patch says:

    Tom, excellent commentary. But our governor isn’t on board, which I find shameful. This is what I call ” Capital Punishment.” We pay and they lie

  2. Tom Hildreth says:

    I think it is great that Rep. Dakin has taken this position. It has become obvious from recent local newspaper articles, that a murky collection of insufficiently-identified groups have had their hands out, greedily grasping for money that belongs to the ratepayers. That so many clever “gimme-gimmies” have come out of the woodwork trying to intercept the ratepayers’ money before it is rightfully refunded to them is a sorry statement that suggests good programs are being abused.

    The organizations trying to separate the ratepayer from his or her money have cranked up a propaganda machine and set it to work in the local media. They have described my money as a “windfall investment.” This is nonsense. There has been no windfall, and I have made no investment. I suggest they remove their hands from my money. Further, I am unimpressed that the governor has failed to step in to prevent this attempted theft.

    The PSB should ensure the money is returned by CVPS to the very ratepayers who were excessively charged. These are not necessarily the ratepayers of today. Many of today’s ratepayers had nothing to do with the overcharges of the past. CVPS should take pains to specifically identify the ratepayers, and return their money. This is the only HONEST thing that can be done here.