Comprehensive Energy Plan public review draft is now available

The Public Review Draft of the 2015 Comprehensive Energy Plan is now available. Here is the press release. Comments are welcome via an online form until Nov. 9, 2015. There will also be five public hearings. Details on the CEP web page.

Solar Siting Task Force

The website for the Solar Siting Task Force is There, you will find announcements, meeting materials, and public comment information.

Small Hydropower Assistance Program Now Available

The Vermont Small Hydropower Assistance Program (Program) is now accepting applications. The Program offers screening criteria and state agency assistance to help aspiring hydropower developers understand the potential impacts of a given hydropower proposal, and how to address those impacts as required in the federal and state hydropower permitting processes. More information on the program, as well as the screening criteria and application form, are available here.

Connectivity Initiative 2015 awards

Gov. Shumlin Announces Nearly $900,000 in Broadband Grants to Underserved Vermont Communities

Communities Include Norwich, Pittsfield, Randolph, Royalton, Jamaica, Rochester, Reading & Bradford


MONTPELIER – Eight rural, underserved Vermont communities are getting help to boost broadband internet speeds. The towns of Norwich, Pittsfield, Randolph, Royalton, Jamaica, Rochester, Reading, and Bradford will receive nearly $900,000 for speed improvement upgrades, Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today.


“I’m proud that we have reached near universal broadband coverage in this state in the last four years,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Now our focus has to turn to improving the infrastructure we have rolled out so that it keeps pace with the changing needs of a 21st century economy. That means boosting broadband speeds, and these grants will do that in some of the hardest to reach Vermont towns.”


“The great thing about these awards is that we are taking these underserved addresses and ‘leap-frogging’ their speeds from among the slowest, to among the fastest available – that will serve these most difficult sites for many years into the future” said Christopher Recchia, Commissioner of the Department of Public Service. “This will be the Department’s objective in our future work as funds become available.”


The largest award, $365,304, will go the ECFiber to serve addresses in the towns of Norwich, Pittsfield, Randolph, and Royalton. FairPoint will receive $290,000 to serve addresses in Reading and Bradford. And Comcast will receive $230,639 to serve addresses in Norwich, Jamaica, and Rochester. In total, the funds will serve 175 underserved addresses in these areas and will also bring better service to additional locations.


The funding for these grants comes through the Connectivity Initiative signed into law by the Governor in June of 2014 to help spur last mile investment in rural broadband networks, and these awards represent the first round of funding since the law went into effect. The eight communities receiving the first round of funding were chosen because the Department of Public Service considers them to be among the hardest locations to serve.


The Governor made expanding broadband to every corner of the state a priority when he came to office. Today, just about all addresses in the state either have broadband access of have a funded broadband solution in place.


Specific information about the awards can be found on the Connectivity Initiative 2015 grant page.



Public Comments Sought On Vermont Energy Investment Corporation’s Operation of Efficiency Vermont

State utility regulators are interested in your comments about the performance of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), the administrator of Efficiency Vermont. The Vermont Public Service Board (Board) and the Vermont Department of Public Service are reviewing VEIC's performance from 2009 through 2014 as a routine part of the State's oversight of Efficiency Vermont. The purpose of this review is to determine if VEIC has performed as expected and, if not, whether the Board should consider appointing a different administrator. Customer input is an important part of this review process.

VEIC has operated Efficiency Vermont under a Board appointment since 2009, and has provided energy efficiency services to Vermont homes, businesses, and communities since 1999. VEIC provides Efficiency Vermont services in all electric utility service areas except the City of Burlington Electric Department service territory.

If you would like to provide comments, please send them in writing to or to the Vermont Public Service Board, 112 State Street, Montpelier VT 05620-2701. Please reference Docket 8455 in your comments. Interested entities and individuals may also seek to intervene in the proceeding by filing a Motion to Intervene prior to May 1, 2015. More information about the Board's review is available on the Board's website at

GMP Alerts Customers to Phone Scam

Green Mountain Power is warning customers about a phone scam. The caller claims to be representing Green Mountain Power from the billing and disconnect division and demands payment to avoid a disconnection of service.

This is definitely a phone scam. Green Mountain Power follows very clear state rules when working with customers about paying past due bills. Green Mountain Power advises customers that it does not demand credit card information or alternate payment mechanisms from a customer for any purpose.

Any customer receiving such a call should not provide the caller with any personal information, including account or credit card numbers. If you have any doubt about the source of the call, you should hang up and call Green Mountain Power’s toll free customer service line at 1-888-835-4672 to verify the caller’s identity.

The Vermont Attorney General’s office recommends reporting these phone scam calls by calling 1-800-649-2424 outside of Chittenden County, or 1-802-656-1423 if you live in Chittenden County.

Connectivity Initiative RFP

Vermont Public Service Department Issues First Request for Proposals under the Connectivity Initiative

Montpelier, Vermont – The Public Service Department today issued its first request for proposals under the new Connectivity Initiative, pursuant to Act 190 passed in 2014. The RFP invites Internet Service Providers to submit proposals to serve locations identified by the Department as needing improved access to broadband Internet service. The Department will award grants to organizations willing to serve these areas. The Department will utilize up to $963,350.00 in available funding to support the extension of broadband facilities in underserved communities.

Public Service Commissioner, Christopher Recchia, stated “the Connectivity Initiative will play an important role in continuing Vermont’s effort to bridge the connectivity divide between rural and urban communities.” Broadband speeds to underserved areas are the focus of the new initiative. “We hope that through the Connectivity Initiative we can increase the speed and quality of broadband service in Vermont’s hardest-to-reach areas,” said Commissioner Recchia. Any technology will be accepted, so long as it meets the minimum service characteristics contained in the RFP.

To initiate the process, the Department identified over 1,700 locations eligible for support through this first round of funding. The lowest acceptable speed for funding under this RFP is 10 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload, but the Department encourages solutions that provide higher levels of service. “We want to bring these communities the best quality broadband service we can with our funding,” stated Recchia.

A copy of the RFP, along with a list of eligible locations, can be obtained by visiting the Public Service Department online at or by emailing the Department at The proposal deadline is March 18, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. 


The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station officially disconnected from the grid on December 29, 2014, at 12:12 PM Eastern Standard Time.  The reactor was manually shut down at 1:04 PM, following a controlled reduction of reactor recirculation flow and a sequential insertion of the plant’s regulating control rod groups. The shutdown occurred without incident.


Governor Peter Shumlin released the following statement on the closure of Vermont Yankee:

“The closure of Vermont Yankee marks the end of years of controversy over operation of a nuclear plant in our state. I have long advocated for the closing of this plant at the end of its original license, and I believe the ceasing of operations today after nearly 43 years represents a positive step for our state and our energy future. Today, thanks to investments in renewable energy such as solar, Vermont's energy future is on a different, more sustainable path that is creating jobs, reducing energy costs for Vermonters and slowing climate change.


“I know this is hard news for the many Vermonters who have relied on the Vermont Yankee plant for employment and economic opportunity in Windham County and beyond. I want to thank the employees of the plant for their hard work over the years. My administration will continue working with local communities to ensure that the Windham County region grows jobs and economic opportunity as operations wind down at Vermont Yankee. We will also continue to work with Entergy and community partners to ensure that decommissioning happens as promptly and smoothly as possible.”


In December 2013, the Governor, Attorney General Bill Sorrell, and Bill Mohl, President of Entergy Wholesale Commodities, announced a settlement agreement between the State and Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee that resolves all ongoing litigation between the State and Entergy VY and provided a path to resolve proceedings at the Public Service Board.


Under the terms of that agreement, Entergy VY agreed to close the facility before the end of 2014, and will provide $10 million in economic development for Windham County over five years and $5.2 million in clean energy development support for Windham County and elsewhere, as well as a transitional $5 million payment to the State for calendar year 2015. Entergy VY also agreed to set aside a new $25 million fund to ensure the site is restored after decommissioning. 


In a message to the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel, Public Service Department Commissioner Chris Recchia said that while Vermont obviously disagreed with the continued operation of the facility, everyone’s efforts at ensuring safe plant operations this past year, as well as the efforts of all to meet the scheduled shutdown consistent with the settlement agreement, were appreciated.  “I look forward to working constructively with everyone on the timely transfer of fuel to dry cask storage and ultimate decontamination and dismantlement of the property as soon as possible,” Recchia added.

2014 Telecommunications Plan

The Department of Public Service, in conjunction with the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Department of Information and Innovation, is pleased to announce the release of the final 2014 Telecommunications Plan. The Plan addresses the major ongoing developments in the telecommunications industry, including broadband infrastructure development, regulatory policy and recommendations for future action.

“This Plan is the product of a rigorous public input process. The Department carefully considered the proposals made by members of the public and the telecommunications industry in response to the Department’s final draft,” said Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia. The final plan includes added recommendations on “make-ready” and pole attachment policy, net neutrality, and it provides a more in depth look at the cost of deploying fiber to the home to every E911 location in Vermont.  The Plan calls for a prioritization of State supported projects that ensure locations with the slowest available broadband speeds receive priority for upgrades.  “The comments we received during the public and legislative review process helped us make this plan much stronger” Recchia said, adding “I appreciate the efforts of all those who commented and we made every effort to constructively address those comments in this final plan.”

The Plan also discusses ongoing developments in the provision of telephone and cable. In addition the Plan provides an analysis of state government telecommunications infrastructure. The Plan presents readers with an overview of the last ten years and what the State should focus on over the next ten years to ensure Vermonters have access to the best available telecommunications services. “It is our hope that this plan will help guide Vermont’s future telecommunications policy.”

The 2014 Telecommunications Plan is available electronically at the following link:

2014 Telecommunications Plan

Attorney General Warns of Phony Power Disconnection Calls

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell is warning electric power consumers of a re-occurring telephone scam. The Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program has received reports of fraudulent calls to Vermonters from individuals claiming to represent a power company and threatening imminent disconnection of power if funds are not sent immediately. Caller ID for these calls may even show a number the same as or similar to a power company phone number, but are not actually originating from a utility. If you receive a call from someone claiming your power is about to be disconnected, hang up. If you want to verify the claim, call the customer service number on your utility bill. If you need assistance in resolving an actual disconnection issue with your utility, you may contact the Vermont Department of Public Service Consumer Affairs Division at 800-622-4496.

This scam, like other common telephone frauds, appears to be using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services to place calls over an internet connection, which will mask the callers’ location, as well as software that allows the callers to “spoof” the Caller ID system. Consumers should not respond to the calls or call the numbers provided by the scammers. Consumers who have responded and sent funds should contact the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program, their electric utility, and their financial institution immediately to protect their accounts. Receipt of these kinds of calls, along with any other scams consumers receive, can be reported to the Consumer Assistance Program by email at, or by calling 800-649-2424.

The Attorney General's Office is reminding consumers to be wary of any calls they did not initiate that solicit funds for any purpose. Consumers should never give out personal or account information to an unverified source. For more information on financial frauds, identity theft and other scams, visit the Consumer Assistance Program website at


Guide to the 248a Process

This guide is intended to walk readers through the Public Service Board’s process for the siting and construction of telecommunications facilities. Communications facilities can, and often do, raise many legitimate concerns for the communities they serve. From public safety to environmental and aesthetic impacts, these facilities often present complex challenges. In addition, PSB practice can be confusing and difficult to those who are unfamiliar with it. This guide explains the process and the role individuals and towns can play in the process. It is our hope that with the help of this guide, cities, towns and individuals will be able to positively shape our telecommunications future through effective participation in the § 248a process.  The Public Service Board has adopted a set of procedures for processing 248a petitions in the Second Amended Procedures Order issued September 5, 2014 which is also informative.

Guide to the 248a process

PSB 248a 248a Procedures

Comcast Internet Essentials Program

Notice to Comcast Customers: 

As a way to celebrate the beginning of the school year, Comcast is offering six months of free internet service to eligible low-income families that have not previously signed up for the company's discounted Internet Essentials service (normally $9.95 per month, plus tax), if they sign up by September 20, 2014

Families with a school-age child eligible for federal school-lunch subsidies are able to participate in Internet Essentials. This program includes discounted Internet access service, as well as the offer of an Internet-ready computer for less than $150 and various print, online, and in-person digital literacy training options. Contact Comcast at 1-855-846-8376 or 1-800-266-2278 for more information.

2014 Vermont Telecommunications Plan Public Comments Draft


Montpelier—The Department of Public Service, in conjunction with the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Department of Information and Innovation, is pleased to announce the release of the 2014 Telecommunications Plan public comments draft. The Plan addresses the major ongoing developments in the telecommunications industry, including broadband infrastructure development, regulatory policy and recommendations for future action.

“This plan provides Vermont residents, businesses, and policy leaders with an objective assessment of how far we’ve come in the last 10 years, our successes, as well as our vision for the next ten years,” said Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia. “The Plan also discusses the telecommunications challenges facing Vermont, as well as realistic and attainable solutions to those challenges,” he added. Highlights of the Plan include an overview of the state’s existing broadband infrastructure and strategies for increasing speeds and affordability of broadband service.

The Department will hold three public hearings on the public comments draft of the Plan prior to adopting the final Plan. The hearings will be held as follows:

Copies of the draft plan and information about the comment period may be obtained from the Department of Public Service by visiting or by calling (802) 828-4003. Copies may also be requested by email sent to, or by writing to the Department of Public Service, 112 State Street, Drawer 20, Montpelier, VT 05620.  We welcome and encourage commentary on the Plan.  Comments may be submitted either electronically or by mail to the address above.


Proposed Changes to Vermont Yankee’s Site Emergency Plan

Entergy has proposed changes to its Site Emergency Plan at Vermont Yankee in Vernon, Vermont. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission must approve of these changes and is seeking comments on the proposal before making a ruling.


For information regarding the proposed changes to Vermont Yankee’s Site Emergency Plan, please click on the link to the Federal Register Notice of Consideration:  


Instructions for submitting comments are at the top of the link page. Alternatively, comments may be mailed to:  Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: 3WFN-06-A44M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.


Comments must be filed by August 21, 2014.  A request for a hearing must be filed by September 22, 2014. 


Although the State of Vermont does not have jurisdiction over Vermont Yankee's Site Emergency Plan, the Department of Public Service and other state agencies intend to file comments with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding this matter.


The full text of Vermont Yankee's license amendment request is available at:

CEDF FY 2015 Annual Program Plan and Allocations

June 13, 2014 -- Request for Public Comment on the FY 2015 Annual Program Plan and Allocations

  • The Clean Energy Development Fund released for public comment its Annual Program Plan and Budget Allocations for the 2015 fiscal year.  Included in the Plan are changes to the existing Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program.

    Comments received by July 14, 2014 at 8:00 AM were given to the members of the Clean Energy Development Board for their consideration.  ComThe Clean Energy Development Board will vote on a final Plan and Budget Allocations for FY 2015 on July 25th, 2014.

Telecommunications Plan Hearing Video and Transcript

On February 21, 2014, the Department of Public Service held a hearing to gain public input on telecommunications issues facing Vermont in anticipation of releasing the 2014 Telecommunications Plan. To view a video of the event or read the transcript, please click here.

VEC reports telephone scam

Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) officials are warning members about a phone scam targeting utility consumers that aims to collect credit card information. Under the current scam, consumers have been contacted by callers that claim to be representing VEC and demand credit card information from consumers to pay their account balance or face immediate disconnection. This is fraudulent and inaccurate.

VEC follows Vermont Public Service Board rules when working with members on past due bills and pending disconnections. VEC does contact members by phone in order to agree upon a payment plan but does not require payment in full. Additionally, VEC offers alternative options for how the payment can be made to the utility.

Anyone receiving a suspicious call should remember not to give out personal information, including account or credit card numbers. To verify the authenticity of anyone claiming to be a representative of Vermont Electric Cooperative and requesting credit card information, members should call the utility at 1-800-832-2667.

At least some of the fraudulent calls have come from the phone number 866-978-6955, extension 2235. These calls have been reported to local police and are being investigated. Please contact VEC or the Vermont Department of Public Service with any questions or concerns. You may reach the Consumer Affairs Division of the Department of Public Service at 1-800-622-4496. Members may also choose to report these calls to the Vermont State Police.

Vermont USF High-Cost Phase III report

Act 169, as it amends 30 V.S.A. § 7515(b)(8), requires a series of reports related to the Vermont Universal Service Fund. The Public Service Department contracted with the consultant RLSA to prepare these reports. Volume III of the Universal Service Fund Report, entitled "Universal Service Goals and Policy Options," fulfills the Department's obligations under 30 V.S.A. $ 7515 (b). The purpose of this report is to inform the Legislature about various universal service considerations as committees take up the subject of universal service reform. The Department notes that the views, opinions, and recommendations contained within this report are strictly those of the authors, and do not represent the position or preferred policy direction of the Department.


Vermont USF Phase III report

Vermont USF study released

Act 169, as it amends 30 V.S.A. § 7515(b)(8), requires a series of reports related to the Vermont Universal Service Fund. The Public Service Department contracted with the consultant RLSA to prepare a report on the costs and profibitablity of Vermont Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers.

Costs and Profitibility Report

Settlement Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding signed on December 23, 2013, between the State of Vermont and Entergy Vermont Yankee

Please find attached two documents that describe the Settlement Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding signed on December 23, 2013, between the State of Vermont and Entergy Vermont Yankee.



High Cost Study - VUSF Audit Report

As directed by Act 169, as it added subsection 30 V.S.A. § 7515(b)(8), the PSD released the VUSF Audit Report portion of its High Cost Study, titled QSI VUSF Audit Report: Assessment of the Vermont Universal Service Fund, on May 3, 2013.  The Department, in conjunction with the Public Service Board, contracted the firm QSI Consulting, Inc. (“QSI”) to conduct the audit and prepare a report on the Vermont Universal Service Fund ("VUSF").  QSI's audit report details the management audit performed by QSI to: (1) analyze the Fiscal Agent's administration practices; (2) examine telecommunications service provider practices of collecting VUSF surcharges from their retail telecommunications customers; (3) test the accuracy of VUSF surcharge remittances made by telecommunications service providers to the Fiscal Agent and the Fiscal Agent's accounting of those remittances; and (4) review the Fiscal Agent's practices and procedures involving the disbursement of VUSF monies to the authorized programs funded by the VUSF.

High Cost Study - FCC Impact Report

As directed by Act 169, as it amends 30 V.S.A. § 7515(b)(6), the PSD released the FCC Impact Report portion of its High Cost Study, titled Revenue Effects of FCC Reforms to Intercarrier Compensation and Federal Universal Service Mechanisms, on February 19, 2013.  The Department, in conjunction with the Public Service Board (“Board”), contracted the consulting firm Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates (“RLSA”) to conduct this FCC impact study as the first of a three part study into whether high cost services should be supported through the Vermont Universal Service Fund (“VUSF”).  This report concludes that while FCC actions will have an impact on ILEC revenues, until the regulated and non-regulated revenues are studied in further reports, due to be submitted to the legislature in March and April, respectively, the Department cannot make a recommendation regarding the activation of high cost voice support at this time.

Prepaid Wireless VUSF Report

As directed by Act 169, Section 4, the PSD released its prepaid wireless VUSF report, titled Analysis and Recommendations Regarding the Application of the State's Universal Service Charge to Prepaid Wireless Telecommunications Services, on February 7, 2013.  To develop the report, the PSD, in consultation with the Department of Taxes, convened a working group to consider how and whether to implement VUSF charges for prepaid wireless services.  Included in the report are two alternatives for draft legislation.

2012 Vermont Telecom Survey Report

On February 7, 2013, the Public Service Department released the 2012 Vermont Telecommunications Survey Report.  ICF International conducted the survey on the behalf of the Department from July through September 2012.

Vermont Smart Meter Measurement Report

As directed by Act 170, the PSD released the Vermont smart meter measurement report, titled An Evaluation of Radio Frequency Fields Produced by Smart Meters Deployed in Vermont, on January 23, 2013.  The full report is now available as a single PDF document.