Vermont Update: No Timeline for Propane Bill, “Could Have Been Worse”

The Vermont state house is topped by a golden dome. (image: Jassy-50 via flickr.com)

On Friday, the Vermont House approved a bill that set some new rules for the state’s propane dealers “regulating fees and charges for propane gas.” Read the story from Friday here. And here are a few more notes from the weekend coverage.

• One representative proposed adding a measure that would regulate propane prices, according to the Burling Free Press, though no price restraints made it into the final draft. Speaking of propane dealers’ thoughts on the bill, Attorney General William Sorrell said: “This bill, from their perspective, could have been worse.”

• Before entering the law books, the bill needs the approval of the state senate and the Vermont governor, Peter Shumlin. Though the timeline is unclear, according to the Free Press. There are three weeks left in the legislative session, so lawmakers may table it till next year.

• When removing a customer’s tank, a dealer must give the customer a refund for the remaining propane within 14 days. When disconnecting or terminating an account, the dealer gets 20 days to send the refund for any remaining gas.

• Talking with Vermont Public Radio, one Democrat who backed the bill said it “improves competition in the marketplace” — by eliminating penalties for switching providers and adding an incentive for customers to purchase their own tank.

• The state has about 60 propane dealers. About 40,000 Vermont homes are heated with propane, or one-sixth of the state’s households.

Read the text of the bill here. (Some clerk misspelled the word “liquefied.” Twice.)

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