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. § 226)
§ 226. Rates, hearings, bond
(a) Except in the case of municipal companies formed under local charter or under chapter 79 and cooperatives formed under chapter 81 of this title, upon six days’ notice to the company affected, the Commission may suspend a rate change until it makes a final determination on the request for a rate change. However, if it shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the Commission, that the public interest requires a change in rates, charges, or services, or that such change is necessary for the purpose of providing adequate and efficient service or for the preservation of the property of the public service company devoted to public use, the Commission, after public notice and preliminary hearing, shall authorize upon such terms, conditions, or safeguards as it deems proper an immediate reasonable temporary increase in such price pending the final determination of the price to be thereafter charged by any such public service company and the Commission may as a condition of its order allowing such temporary increase, require the petitioning company to file with the Commission a bond running to the Commission members and their successors in office in amount and with sureties approved by the Commission, conditioned that within a reasonable time prescribed by the Commission after the termination of such proceedings, the company shall, with interest, repay to or may credit the account of the persons from whom such changed rates shall be collected all sums collected in excess of the rate in force at the time such changes are filed or of such rate as shall be determined to be just and reasonable. If the Commission fails to determine the application for temporary rates, if requested, within 30 days after it is made or within 45 days after suspension, whichever is later, the requested temporary rates shall take effect subject to refund as provided in this subsection.
(b) In the case of municipal companies formed under local charter or under chapter 79 and cooperatives formed under chapter 81 of this title, the Public Utility Commission shall not be empowered to suspend a change in the rates of a municipality or of a cooperative pending final determination as to the justness or reasonableness of such change, but the Commission shall require that the municipality or cooperative refund revenues collected in excess of those which are finally determined to be just and reasonable. Any increase in the rates of a municipality or cooperative shall be implemented by means of an identical percentage increase to each class or division of ratepayers under rate design tariffs previously approved by the Public Utility Commission until such time as the Public Utility Commission shall specifically approve an alteration in such rate design and corresponding tariffs.
(c) If the Department does not oppose the change as provided in section 225 of this title, five persons adversely affected by the change, or, if the change adversely affects fewer than five persons, any one person so affected may apply at their own expense to the Commission by petition alleging why the change is unreasonable and unjust and asking that the Commission investigate the matter and make such orders as justice and law require. The petition shall be filed within 38 days of the date of the notice of rate change that was filed pursuant to section 225 of this title. The Commission may suspend the rates as a result of the petition. The Commission may hold a hearing on the petition. Whether or not a hearing is held, the Commission shall make such orders as justice and law require. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 39(b), eff. March 1, 1961; 1961, No. 263, § 3, eff. July 31, 1961; 1979, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.),§§ 29, 30, eff. Feb. 1, 1981; 1981, No. 226 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 4, eff. May 6, 1982; 2019, No. 31, § 19.)