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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CHANGES DIRECTION OF REVIEW OF GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER CORPORATION'S RATINGS TO POSSIBLE UPGRADE INSTEAD OF POSSIBLE DOWNGRADE

29 Jan 2001
MOODY'S CHANGES DIRECTION OF REVIEW OF GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER CORPORATION'S RATINGS TO POSSIBLE UPGRADE INSTEAD OF POSSIBLE DOWNGRADE

Approximately $50 Million of Securities Affected

New York, January 29, 2001 -- Moody's Investors Service changed the direction of its review of Green Mountain Power Corporation's (GMP) security ratings to possible upgrade instead of possible downgrade. The rating action is in response to the recent approval by the Vermont Public Service Board of an agreement between GMP and the Vermont Department of Public Service (VDPS), which we believe favorably resolves the earlier credit concerns centering around the company's contract to purchase power from Hydro Quebec (HQ). Moody's had indicated in a November 27, 2000 press release that approval of the aforementioned agreement in substantially unaltered form would lead to such action.

GMP's ratings now under review for possible upgrade include its senior secured debt at Ba1 and its preferred stock at "ba3".

Under the terms of the agreement, GMP was granted a 3.42% base rate increase and the previously approved 8.5% temporary rate increases became permanent. Importantly, GMP will not be subject to further prudence penalties and is assured of full recovery of its costs relating to its long-term power and energy contract with HQ. Consistent with its earlier compromise offered up under the agreement, GMP will write off $3.2 million of regulatory assets when it reports its year end results for 2000. Furthermore, GMP has agreed not to raise its rates again before January 2003, except under certain extreme conditions, and will be bound by a return on equity cap of 11.25%. Any earnings deferred under the ROE cap will be used to recover regulatory assets at the end of 2003. According to some of the other key features of the agreement, GMP will spend up to certain levels for system improvements and be subject to reliability performance standards in anticipation of performance-based regulation in the future; the company will also keep within prescribed guidelines when making investments in non-utility operations; and it will share equally with its customers any premium above book value realized by the company in any future merger, acquisition, or asset sale (with a limit of $8 million on the amount provided to customers).

In reviewing GMP's ratings for possible upgrade, Moody's will consider the impact of more stable and predictable rates on the company's overall competitive position, as well as its prospective earnings and cash flow generating capabilities. At the same time, Moody's will also consider the prospects for reduced exposure to nuclear-related financial and operating risks at GMP in light of the ongoing auction of the Vermont Yankee plant.

Green Mountain Power Corporation is an investor-owned electric utility whose headquarters are in Colchester, Vermont.

New York
Susan D. Abbott
Managing Director
Corporate Finance
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: (212) 553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: (212) 553-1653

New York
Kevin G. Rose
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: (212) 553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: (212) 553-1653

No Related Data.
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