Peach Music Festival has been given a lot of difficult situations to navigate around, but somehow they keep coming through with news that impresses fans beyond their initial lineup. Drummer Mark Hill of The Floozies is unable to attend their set this evening, but will be replaced by The String Cheese Incident‘s own Jason Hann instead. The Floozies’ Facebook post reads: “Alright peach fest people. Mark can’t make it tonight because he’s becoming a father. So Jason Hann from The String Cheese Incident will be filling in on drums. So many effing feelings right now.” Congratulations, Mark!The announcement comes atop the exciting news that Joe Russo, Marco Benevento, and Oteil Burbridge will be performing a special set on Sunday, as will Rich Robinson Band and an extended set from Gov’t Mule. These week-of announcements are a result of the unfortunate situations surrounding Gregg Allman‘s health, which ultimately led him to cancel the rest of his tour, with multiple sets at Peach included. Get better, Gregg!
Green Mountain Power today asked the Vermont Public Service Board to authorize a 4.84 percent rate adjustment to go into effect on October 1, 2009, as part of its alternative regulation plan. The increase is primarily due to factors that affect all utilities in the region, such as the costs of reliability upgrades to the New England transmission grid.”We continue to work hard to reduce every single controllable expense on behalf of our customers,” said Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power President and Chief Executive Officer. “In fact, less than half a percent of the rate increase is due to changes in Green Mountain Power’s operating costs that are under our direct control. During these challenging economic times, we know that any change in rates will be difficult for our customers, and in response we have taken extra steps to keep this increase as low as possible, including keeping payroll costs flat and cutting other operating expenses.”Green Mountain Power already operates very efficiently, with the most customers served per employee of any utility in the state, and meets or exceeds very high customer service standards, such as how quickly customers’ calls are answered and the reliability of the electric service.To ensure system-wide reliability, every state pays a pro-rated share of all regional transmission reliability projects, based on its percentage of the total New England electric load. Vermont’s four percent cost share requirement for the significant investments in the transmission infrastructure New England has made to meet reliability requirements contributes to this rate request. Other states, in turn, invest proportionately in Vermont transmission reliability upgrades.Green Mountain Power’s overall average rates are the lowest of the large utilities in New England and Vermont’s five largest utilities, based on the most recent data available. The rate advantage is due in large part to long term contracts with Vermont Yankee and Hydro Quebec, which make up three-quarters of the Company’s power supply, and to the rest of New England’s heavy use of fossil fuels, which are more volatile in cost.”We will continue to focus our efforts on delivering the most cost effective power to our customers,” said Ms. Powell. “And as we work to replace expiring electric energy contracts, we are seeking the most cost competitive and reliable sources that are also low in carbon emissions and other air pollutants.”As is the case with many companies, Green Mountain Power has been affected financially by the recession. And because utilities need to borrow large amounts of money to maintain their generation facilities, distribution system and other infrastructure to serve customers, they need to be financially stable or risk higher borrowing charges that ultimately get passed on in higher rates.”Customers benefit by Green Mountain Power maintaining financial stability,” said Ms. Powell. “Financial markets react unfavorably when a utility’s ability to earn a return on investment is greatly reduced. They see this as a risk and charge more for lending money. This, in turn, increases costs to customers.”Green Mountain Power has operated under an alternative regulation plan since January 2007, which streamlines regulation while retaining appropriate regulatory review. It has been effective in significantly reducing regulatory costs while offering positive risk assurances to credit rating agencies.If the full rate request is approved, the monthly bill for an average residential customer using 600 kilowatt-hours would increase by $4.32, from $89.29 to $93.61.About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves more than 200,000 people and businesses.Source: GMP. COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – July 31, 2009) –