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Category: Credit Rating

Moody’s Investors Service Upgrades Burlington Electric’s Credit Rating to A3 for First “A” Rating in over Six Years

Recognizes Forward-Looking Financial Policies, Renewable Power Supply, Competitive Rates, Strong Management, Solid City Financial Position
BED

Burlington, VT – Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the Burlington Electric Department’s credit rating to A3 with a stable outlook from Baa1 with a stable outlook, representing the first time in more than six years that Burlington Electric has earned an “A” rating. Moody’s cited Burlington Electric’s forward-looking financial policies, diverse and renewable power supply, competitive rates, and strong and focused management as important factors for the increase. Further, Moody’s listed continued financial success by the City of Burlington as a factor that could contribute to future Burlington Electric upgrades, an apparent reference to its having awarded the City a two-step increase in March 2016 that restored the City’s credit rating to an “A” for the first time since 2012. 

The Moody’s report lists the following credit strengths:

  • “Diverse and substantially renewable power supply resource mix, which mitigates industry challenges such as market price disruptions and carbon regulation;”
  • “Strong improvement in liquidity and debt service coverage over the past two fiscal years and forward-looking financial policies aimed at maintaining sound financial metrics;”
  • “BED’s service area economy is relatively robust, with above national average socioeconomics, driven largely by higher education, technology and health care;” and
  • “Strong and focused management working on industry transition, including ensuring utility fixed cost recovery through rate structure changes.”

“This credit rating upgrade validates Burlington Electric’s continuing efforts to lead through energy innovation by sourcing its power from renewable generation and by focusing on measurable financial results that consider the changing utility landscape,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “The upgrade, like the one just over a year ago, will further lower Burlington Electric’s future borrowing costs and, once again, demonstrates that the commitment of the community, the City Council, and the Administration to strengthen Burlington’s financial reputation is working and continues to generate real savings for Burlington residents, institutions, and businesses. Congratulations to the entire Burlington Electric team for their excellent work.”

“Strong financial management is part of Burlington Electric’s continued commitment to the customers we serve,” said Neale Lunderville, Burlington Electric Department General Manager. “As the Moody’s upgrade confirms, our continuous focus on improving our financial foundation and on adapting to a changing energy market allow our team to lead the green energy revolution.”

“It takes a great team – from our customers to Burlington Electric frontline staff to City Hall – to achieve a Moody’s upgrade,” Lunderville added. “I want to offer special praise to our Burlington Electric power supply and finance teams, as well as to our Burlington Electric Commission, for their unwavering focus on improving our finances, and to the entire Burlington Electric family for delivering exceptional service to our customers.”

The recent history of Burlington Electric’s credit ratings and outlooks follows:

Date

Action

Rating

Outlook

12/19/16

Upgrade from Baa1

A3

Stable

11/9/15

Upgrade from Baa2

Baa1

Stable

7/22/14

Affirm

Baa2

Positive

12/20/13

Affirm

Baa2

Stable

10/22/12

Affirm

Baa2

Negative

10/06/11

Affirm

Baa2

Negative

10/13/10

Downgrade from A3

Baa2

Stable

3/17/04

Affirmed

A3

Stable

*Moody’s Investors Service Burlington Electric Credit Opinion attached.