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    The Vermont Public Service Board has given Green Mountain Power the go-ahead to phase in a raise in electricity rates for its customers in Proctor who used to be with Vermont Marble Power Division of Omya in an attempt to less the blow of any immediate rate hikes.

    According to the Burlington Free Press, Vermont Marble Power was Acquired by Central Vermont Public Service in 2011, and later became a part of Green Mountain Power. Proctor residents for years have been paying electricity rates that were much lower than surrounding areas thanks to subsidies from Omya.

    The unusually low rates also stemmed from Vermont Marble Power's decision to put several improvement project on hold.

    The plan entails bringing electricity rates up closer to those in neighboring regions through 12-month increases.

    "Our goal in working with the commercial customers in Proctor was to develop a plan that eased the shift for them into our current rate structure," said Robert Dostis, director of government affairs for Green Mountain Power.

    Vermont currently does not have energy deregulation laws in place, however in nearby New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York, residents have the option to choose their own retail electric providers.