Vermont municipal electric utilities awarded $5 million to update meter infrastructure
Funding will modernize the grid while keeping costs to Vermonters low
February 21, 2023
Waterbury Center, Vermont – 50 Vermont communities are one step closer to an electric grid upgrade. Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA) announced today that it has been granted $5 million to install advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) for over 30,000 customers. The new meters will provide VPPSA and its member utilities with fast access to detailed electric usage data.
“AMI will bring new benefits to municipal utilities and the customers we serve,” said Stephen Fitzhugh, Chair of the VPPSA Board of Directors and Commissioner of Northfield Electric Department. “We’ll know when power is out before we get a customer call, and the in-depth data will give us the insights we need to develop new, innovate services.”
The $5 million award stems from a legislative allocation in the 2023 state fiscal year budget. The Vermont General Assembly carved out $8 million for the Department of Public Service (DPS) to distribute as grants to municipal and cooperative electric utilities installing AMI. VPPSA applied for the funds on behalf of its 11 municipal utility members.
“We’re pleased to grant VPPSA and its members funds to support AMI,” said TJ Poor, DPS Director of Planning. “AMI offers the capability to capture operational efficiencies, and to facilitate new rate programs and incentives that encourage customers to better engage with and manage energy consumption, consistent with Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan. We look forward to VPPSA and its members making good use of this opportunity.”
The funding will help VPPSA member utilities install meters over the next several years with the first installations expected in late 2023. The utilities plan to communicate installation schedules in several ways, and customers should expect direct outreach from their utility prior to meter changeover.