Vermont’s two rural electric cooperatives are seeking rate increases for next year, citing rising power supply costs, among other factors.
Vermont Electric Co-op has filed for a 3.29 percent rate increase — its first in six years — while Washington Electric Co-op filed for a 5.95 percent increase.
The largest cost pressures facing Vermont Electric Co-op, which has 32,000 members across the northernmost band of the state, are regional energy charges.
Electrical utilities have to pay capacity charges to ensure adequate generation is available for peak demand. The co-op attributes higher capacity charges to changing trends in electricity use, such as solar pushing the peak use time later in the day. Meanwhile, money that the co-op receives from selling peak demand capacity associated with Kingdom Wind and other in-state generation has been going down.