The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
Chapter 005 : State Policy; Plans; Jurisdiction and Regulatory Authority of Commission and Department
Subchapter 001 : General Powers(Cite as: 30 V.S.A. § 225)
§ 225. Rate schedules
(a) Within a time to be fixed by the Commission, each company subject to the provisions of this chapter shall file with the Department, with separate filings to the Directors for Regulated Utility Planning and Public Advocacy, schedules which shall be open to public inspection, showing all rates, including joint rates, for any service performed or any product furnished by it within the State, and as a part thereof shall file the rules and regulations that in any manner affect the tolls or rates charged or to be charged for any such service or product. Those schedules, or summaries of the schedules approved by the Department, shall be published by the company in two newspapers with general circulation in the State within 15 days after such filing. A change shall not thereafter be made in any such schedules, including schedules of joint rates or in any such rules and regulations, except upon 45 days’ notice to the Commission and to the Department of Public Service, and such notice to parties affected by such schedules as the Commission shall direct. The Commission shall consider the Department’s recommendation and take action pursuant to sections 226 and 227 of this title before the date on which the changed rate is to become effective. All such changes shall be plainly indicated upon existing schedules, or by filing new schedules in lieu thereof 45 days prior to the time the same are to take effect. Subject only to temporary increases, rates may not thereafter be raised without strictly complying with the notice and filing requirements set forth in this section. In no event may a company amend, supplement, or alter an existing filing or substantially revise the proof in support of such filing in order to increase, decrease, or substantiate a pending rate request, unless, upon opportunity for hearing, the company demonstrates that such a change in filing or proof is necessary for the purpose of providing adequate and efficient service. However, upon application of any company subject to the provisions of this chapter, and with the consent of the Department of Public Service, the Commission may for good cause shown prescribe a shorter time within which such change may be made; but a change which in effect decreases such tolls or rates may be made upon five days’ notice to the Commission and the Department of Public Service and such notice to parties affected as the Commission shall direct.
(b) Immediately upon receipt of notice of a change in a rate schedule filed by a company, the Department shall investigate the justness and reasonableness of that change. Within 30 days of receipt of this notice, the Department shall either report to the Commission the results of its investigations together with its recommendation for acceptance of the change, or it shall notify the Commission and other parties that it opposes the change. If the Department of Public Service reports its acceptance of the change in rates, the Commission may accept the change, or it may on its own motion conduct an investigation into the justness and reasonableness of the change, or it may order the Department to appear before it to justify its recommendation to accept the change. In no event shall a change go into effect without the approval of the Commission, except when a rate change is suspended and temporary or permanent rates are allowed to go into effect pursuant to subsection 226(a) or 227(a) of this title. The Commission shall consider the Department’s recommendation and take action pursuant to sections 226 and 227 of this title within 45 days of receipt of notice of a change in a rate schedule. In the event that the Department opposes the change, the Commission shall hear evidence on the matter and make such orders as justice and law require. In any hearing on a change in rates, whether or not opposed by the Department, the Commission may request the appearance of the Attorney General or appoint a member of the Vermont bar to represent the public or the State.
(c) [Repealed.] (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 39(b), eff. March 1, 1961; 1961, No. 263, § 2, eff. July 31, 1961; 1979, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 28, eff. Feb. 1, 1981; 1981, No. 226 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2, eff. May 6, 1982; 1985, No. 224 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1999, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2019, No. 31, § 18.)