Standard & Poor’s Ups VEC’s Credit Rating to A+
February 26, 2016
Johnson, VT- Standard & Poor’s (S&P’s) Rating Services has raised Vermont Electric Cooperative’s (VEC’s) credit rating from an A to an A+ with a stable outlook. S&P’s cited effective regulatory partners, cost-effective power supply, and strong management in its decision to boost the Co-op’s rating.
This credit rating increase is a testament to the significant progress VEC has made over the past several years. Under the leadership of CEO Christine Hallquist, VEC has invested in innovative technologies such as smart meters, which have enabled VEC to cut outage times in half. Despite the challenge of serving a rural service territory and having one of the lowest numbers of customers per line mile in the state, VEC’s electric rates remain competitive with other Vermont utilities.
“We are extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished,” said Hallquist. “Under the leadership of our member-elected Board of Directors, our staff has put fiscal discipline, innovative thinking, and hard work into practice every day. This is truly an accomplishment that can be shared by all employees and our members. We are grateful for the help of our regulatory partners at the Public Service Board and Public Service Department.”
A strong credit rating helps VEC secure access to capital and low interest rates as well as lower-cost power supply contracts. These advantages have enabled VEC to keep electric rates stable while maintaining safe and reliable service and building the electric grid of the future. Over the past seven years, VEC’s rates have increased an average of less than one percent per year, well below the rate of inflation.
Nationally recognized for innovative and advanced use of technology, VEC is the largest non-profit, member-owned electric distribution utility in Vermont, serving more than 32,000 members in 75 towns in northern Vermont.