Vermont Electric Cooperative

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The Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) is a consumer-owned electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Johnson, Vermont.[1]

In 2008 VEC served about 34,000 member-customers in 74 towns in northern Vermont, including Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, and Orleans counties.[1]

History[edit]

VEC was founded in 1938 in Eden Mills to serve residents in parts of rural Lamoille County who had been bypassed by investor-owned utilities. The Rural Electrification Act financed most of the growth in the early years.[1]

Early service was extended into Chittenden and Franklin counties. From the 1940s until the early 1960s, the territory it served expanded in northern Vermont through the construction of new lines and the acquisition of small private companies. In 1969, VEC expanded into southern Vermont by merging with Halifax Electric Cooperative. In 1970, VEC acquired the International Electric Company serving Derby Line.[1]

In 2004, VEC acquired Citizens Communications Company's Vermont Electric Division. This more than doubled the membership-base. In 2006 VEC sold its Southern District in Windham and Windsor counties to Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS), reducing its membership by 2,770.[1]

In 2008 VEC sought a 9.2% rate increase from the Vermont Public Service Board. It estimates that the rise in rates from transmission rates from ISO New England will increase its transmission costs by $1.5 million to $6 million total. About 30% of the increase is due to this increased transmission costs.[2]

In 2009, VEC announced that it would purchase 50% of the 40 megawatts Sheffield wind-generated electricity when it becomes available.[3]

The cooperative installed smart meters at 80% of their households from 2007-2009. Savings using these have paid for the equipment upgrades.[4]

Administration[edit]

A 13-member Board of Directors is elected by members. Seven seats are reserved for geographic districts. Five members are elected by the entire membership.[5]

District 1 includes the towns of Barton, Brighton, Brownington, Charleston, Holland, Morgan and Westmore. There are also towns in Caledonia. District 2 includes Coventry, Derby, and Newport city. The remaining towns in Orleans County are in District 5. District 4 includes Jay, Lowell, Newport town, Westfield and Troy. District 8 includes Albany, Barton, Craftsbury, Glover, Greensboro and towns in Lamoille and Caledonia counties.[5]

The president is Tom Bailey.[1] Directors include Priscilla Matten (District 4), and Steve Wolfgram (District 8).[5]

In 2013, there were 18 candidates for three open seats on the board.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Vermont Electric Cooperative — About Us". Vermontelectric.coop. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  2. ^ Gresser, Joseph (November 5, 2008). VEC seeks 9.2 percent rate hike. the Chronicle. 
  3. ^ Lefebvre, Paul & Braithwaite, Chris (March 11, 2009). VEC wants wind power from both Sheffield and Lowell. the Chronicle. 
  4. ^ Gresser, Joseph (11 November 2009). "VEC is helping customers watch their watts". Barton, Vermont: the Chronicle. p. 11. 
  5. ^ a b c The Chronicle, June 3, 2009, page 24, "VEC reorganizes its board", Joseph Gresser
  6. ^ Braithwaite, Chris (April 24, 2013). "18 candidates run for VEC board positions". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. pp. 12A.