2004 Vermont Comprehensive Energy And Electric Plan
December 4, 2003
by Vermont Department of Public Service
"The biggest blackout in history on August 14, 2003 brought all economic activity in the northeastern
United States to a halt. At 4:11pm EST, the sudden plunge into darkness was a reminder of just how
much we depend on energy for much of our activities.
Thirty years earlier, another energy shock – the 1973 OPEC oil embargo – provided a more protracted
lesson in the importance of energy to our overall well-being. The recommendations in this Plan all
stem from the fundamental importance of energy to the State’s economy and the well-being of its
citizens. Because energy – especially electricity – remains a fundamental driver of the VT economy,
competitively priced energy continues to be vital, since differentials in energy costs can be a
determinant in relative competitiveness of one region over another.
The disparity between the average electric rates Vermont’s residential and business customers pay,
and the average rates paid by customers in the U.S. as a whole, has steadily increased. In 1990,
Vermont’s residential electric rates were about 15 percent higher than the U.S. average, commercial
rates were about 20 percent higher, and industrial rates were some 35 percent higher than the U.S.
average. Today, that disparity has grown to about 50 percent for all three classes"....