Vt. Supreme Court asks for new review of pipeline costs

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The Vermont Supreme Court has told a state utility board to reinvestigate a rate case involving tens of millions of dollars in cost overruns for a natural gas pipeline.

The 41-mile long Addison County pipeline serves about 2,000 customers but cost around $165 million to construct. Vermont Public Radio reports the court wrote unanimously late last week that the Public Utility Commission needs to make clear if ratepayers were protected by the unanticipated cost increase.

The AARP is arguing the case against Vermont Gas Systems. It says Vermont Gas should be on the hook for cost overruns, rather than ratepayers. Vermont Gas spokeswoman Beth Parent said the company welcomes the new review.

The state Department of Public Service says it is ready to again review the costs of the pipeline.

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