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BRATTLEBORO — Green Mountain Power is making the rounds, getting input on its proposal for a nearly 5 percent rate increase.

"There are costs that are rising that are not controlled by utilities, like the cost to connect to the grid and net metering," said Kristin Carlson, spokeswoman for GMP. "That accounts for 6 percent of the increase, but through operating efficiencies and innovations, we were able to have a lower request."

The public has been invited to the Vermont Public Utility Commission's hearings on the overall rate increase of 4.98 percent requested by the power company. The proposed change would take effect on Jan. 1. But the commission has recommended a rate increase of 1.68 percent.

One of the hearings will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29, at Brattleboro Union High School. At 6 p.m. that night, the Vermont Department of Public Service will host a presentation by GMP. To change the rate, the company has submitted a petition requesting approval of a temporary limited regulation plan.

Carlson said GMP is focused on driving down costs by innovations such as battery storage. Customers are paying less for power today than they did three years ago after several bill decreases, she added.

"We have the second lowest overall rates in New England and will continue to have that as these are cost pressures hitting the region as well," said Carlson.

Previous meetings were held in Montpelier and Rutland.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or @CMaysBR.