Nick Stanhope checking the status of one of Green Mountain Power's grid-level batteries.
Vermont’s largest electricity provider, Green Mountain Power, has asked regulators to delay its April 1 rate increase due to the coronavirus' impact on customers.
The utility was planning a 2.7-percent increase in rates to reflect rising costs, including for storm damage and power purchases.
But the company is looking into “deferring or delaying” that increase until July 1, according to Ed McNamara, planning director for the Vermont Department of Public Service.
McNamara mentioned the possibility during a conference call with lawmakers Tuesday. GMP officials made the request with the Public Utility Commission on Monday.
"There is no doubt that customers' lives will be disrupted by these events, and for some that will mean financial hardship," Carolyn Anderson, GMP general counsel wrote. "We want to do our part to ease that by delaying these quarterly adjustments."
The company has also suspended account disconnections and bill collections, Anderson noted.
Gregg Faber, an analyst with the Public Utility Commission, also told senators on the call that it had received a request from Vermont Legal Aid for a moratorium on utility and telecommunications shutoffs during the state of emergency.
Several have already agreed to a moratorium, including Burlington Electric, Vermont Electric Cooperative and Vermont Gas.
Faber said the commission was considering the request as a formal petition and would work to hold public hearings, possibility remotely, on the issue in the near future.