Vt. surcharge in place to help low-income customers - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. surcharge in place to help low-income customers

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont utility companies are wading through their first year of levying surcharges to residential and commercial consumers to help low-income consumers pay their bills.

Green Mountain Power and Vermont Gas Systems each initiated the fees this year, after the Legislature and state Public Service Board mandated the surcharges.

The Burlington Free Press reports that residential customers of Green Mountain Power pay $1.50 a month and Vermont Gas customers pay $1.39 a month.

The Vermont Chapter of the AARP lobbied for the fee to help fixed-income seniors stay in their homes.

Some customers complain that the fee amounts to forced charity, but the measure has numerous advocates.

Vermont is the last New England state to enact programs to help low-income customers through fees to all customers.

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