- GMP urges customers to be alert, and safe as first winter storm is forecasted during big travel day
- Now is a great time to prepare for the possibility of severe weather in winter season
- Being proactive now can make a big difference when severe weather hits Vermont
- Safety tips for all seasons are available on GMP’s website www.greenmountainpower.com
COLCHESTER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power (GMP) is urging customers to stay safe and be alert to changing weather conditions during this holiday week. Forecasters are currently calling for a wintry mix of wet snow, ice, and sleet to hit Vermont Tuesday night into Wednesday. GMP is encouraging customers to think ahead, and prepare now for winter storm season, just as the utility is looking ahead and preparing through storm hardening and undergrounding lines and expanding access to home energy solutions . Last winter saw a record number of damaging storms requiring multi-day repairs, as climate change continues to intensify the severity and frequency of bad weather.
“It has been a really tough, heartbreaking year in our state. Climate change-driven storms have been escalating, and last year our customers experienced three of the worst storms in GMP’s history. Through it all Vermonters have proven how resilient they are,” said Mike Burke, GMP’s vice president of field operations. “We’re always tracking the weather and looking ahead, so we can respond as quickly as safely possible for customers if damaging weather strikes Vermont. Safety is a top priority and now is a great time for customers to take a few steps to prepare, too.”
Here are some steps you can take now, to prepare:
- Keep your cellphone charged
- Download the GMP app, which can help you report an outage and track restoration times
- Have some bottled water and non-perishable food on hand
- Place your flashlights where you can easily find them
- Have fresh batteries on hand
- Make a plan for where you can go if your power is out for an extended time
If a storm hits, here are safety reminders for before, during, and after storms:
- Pay attention to the weather forecast and changing conditions
- Stay far away from any downed lines
- Always assume downed lines and trees are energized – you cannot tell by looking at them
- Call GMP to report downed lines
- Call 911 for medical emergencies
- Call Vermont 211 for help with emergency housing and more
Using the GMP app is a convenient way to report outages, track restoration, and manage your GMP account. You can also report outages through the Outage Center on GMP’s website or call GMP at 888-835-4672. More storm preparation and safety tips are available on GMP’s website.
GMP is taking proactive steps to prepare for more severe weather. This year, GMP completed approximately 100 miles of storm hardening projects, including undergrounding lines and storm hardening above ground lines, in some of the most damage-prone areas of central and southern Vermont.
GMP also recently requested approval from state regulators for its 2030 Zero Outages Initiative which will rapidly accelerate undergrounding and storm-hardening of lines, along with installation of energy storage by 2030. This summer, state regulators approved GMP’s request to lift the cap on enrollments in its current home battery programs, which is expanding access to cost-effective battery backup power to any customer who wishes to enroll. With a fleet of portable batteries, the company also launched a battery loaner program for critical care customers, helping some to keep their electric powered health equipment connected for some during outages. GMP has also worked with town leaders and local first responders across its service area to further strengthen communication and coordination across communities during damaging weather.
“We know that climate change is creating more extreme precipitation, more damaging storms for Vermont, and we also know that working together, Vermont can be ready,” Burke said.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power serves more than 270,000 residential and business customers in Vermont with electricity that’s 100% carbon free and 80% renewable on an annual basis, and GMP is partnering with customers to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is providing solutions to cut carbon and is delivering electricity that is clean, affordable, and always on. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. In 2022, GMP was named to TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential Companies. Fast Company named GMP one of the top five Most Innovative Companies in North America in 2022. GMP also earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list in the energy sector four years in a row, and in 2023 and 2021 the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) honored GMP as a nationwide leader in energy transformation.
Kristin Kelly, Green Mountain Power
It has been a really tough, heartbreaking year in our state. Climate change-driven storms have been escalating, and last year our customers experienced three of the worst storms in GMP’s history. Through it all Vermonters have proven how resilient they are.Mike Burke, Vice President of Field Operations