Letter From General Manager Darren Springer
We at Burlington Electric Department (BED) understand that the global pandemic has been challenging and created economic hardship for many in our community. The pandemic also has caused financial impacts for our public power utility, and we have seen millions of dollars of loss due to lower sales, more customers behind on their bills, and disrupted capital projects. Those impacts, along with increased state and regional transmission costs, have led us to propose our first rate increase after 12 years of holding rates steady for our customers. BED was able to avoid rate cases during this extraordinary period of time through strong financial management and determined efforts to reduce costs. The 7.5 percent increase will appear as a surcharge on customer bills starting in August. The rate proposal is subject to a thorough review by the Public Utility Commission (PUC).
The average residential bill will increase by $4.92 per month. The average bill increase for the bulk of BED’s commercial customers (those on the small general service rate) will be $6.60 per month.
To support our community through these difficult times, we currently are offering several relief programs, including suspending disconnections for non-payment, waiving late fees, and providing extended budget billing plans. BED also is continuing to advocate for arrearage assistance programs to help customers who have fallen behind on paying utility bills. In addition, to help offset the rate increase for low-income customers, we will for the first time be offering an energy assistance program to provide a monthly bill credit for customers who are enrolled in the state’s fuel assistance program or Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program. The energy assistance program will last throughout our fiscal year 2022 and, by our next fiscal year, BED intends to offer a permanent low-income discounted rate. You can apply for this program using the form below.
Further, we encourage customers to learn about opportunities to save energy and money through efficiency measures by connecting with our Energy Services team for a free consultation.
The Burlington community will have opportunities to provide comment on the proposed rate increase with the PUC after BED files its rate case on or about June 15.
The BED team is very proud of the value we have delivered for our community over the last 12 years without a rate increase and look forward to continuing to work hard to keep future rate adjustments low, while providing the exceptional customer care and reliable renewable energy our community expects and deserves.