The state Department of Public Service has recommended a 5.68 percent rate decrease for Vermont Gas, which requested approval for only a 3.3 percent decrease as part of two still-pending rate cases in February.
DPS Commissioner Chris Recchia says ratepayers shouldn't be burdened by poor decisions made by Vermont Gas officials.
State regulators have pointed to "imprudent" expenditures that have ballooned the cost of the utility's Addison Natural Gas Pipeline as justification for the recommended rate cut.
Vermont Gas still has a chance to respond to the DPS' recommendation before the Public Service Board. Petitions will be heard in December. The board's resolution is projected to come in spring 2017.