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Survey: Vermonters worried about rising utility bills - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Survey: Vermonters worried about rising utility bills

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Vermonters are worried about rising utility bills and they want an independent organization to protect their interests.

Those are some findings from a recent survey by AARP which has challenged the status quo on utility issues in recent years.

The survey says 48 percent of respondents do not believe their interests are being considered when utility rates increase and 75 percent of respondents are concerned about affording utility costs. The survey also says 71 percent support establishing an independent ratepayer advocate.

Right now when electric companies and other regulated utilities want a rate hike, the state public service department acts as the advocate for consumers. But critics say the agency is too tight with the utilities and prone to the political agenda of the governor. AARP and other groups are lobbying the Legislature to change the model to add and independent group to look at consumer needs.

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